The curriculum of this course introduces students to statistics by allowing them to ask & answer statistical questions that they care about.
Topics come from a large range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, government and environmental science. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Passion Driven Statistics model has been successfully implemented through the Applied Data Analysis course at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Students generate hypotheses based on existing data, conduct a literature review, prepare data for analysis, conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, and present research findings to expert and novice audiences. Students also learn to use one of four major statistical analysis software packages (R, SAS, SPSS, STATA) in order to explore their data. When given freedom to pursue their own questions and appropriate support, all students can meaningfully access the power and promise of statistical inquiry.
The course culminates at the end of the semester in a final course poster presentation session. Social scientists, statisticians, and other industry professionals come to browse, ask questions, and evaluate your semester-long project.