By The Mathematical Association of America
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Extra resources for American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, August-September 2000
COBB is Robert L. Rooke Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Mount Holyoke College. He has an AB. D. in Statistics from Harvard. Like his co-author Moore, Cobb is being driven somewhere by middle age, but he is still waiting to discover where that may be. He has chaired the ASA/MAA Joint Committee on Undergraduate Statistics, and currently serves on the National Research Council's Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. edu 630 © THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 107 NOTES Edited by Jimmie D.
One inward-looking response by mathematics shrugs off the pattern as part of a shift toward a vocationalism unworthy of the Liberal Arts. Another view is this: traditional mathematics exposition and teaching often presents the subject's abstractions as completed structures. Examples come after, to serve as illustrations. Students receive a finished product, but don't participate in the process of building it. What statistics and other quantitative subjects offer, and traditional mathematics courses often do not, is more experience with the process of searching for patterns at a low level of abstraction before formulating a more abstract statement and then assessing its validity.
18. 19. George W. Cobb, Teaching statistics, in L. A. ), Heeding the Call for Change: Suggestions for Curricular Action, Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC, 1992, pp. 3-43. George W. Cobb and David S. Moore, Mathematics, statistics, and teaching, Amer. Math. Monthly 104 (1997) 801-823. Arthur P. Dempster, Nan M. Laird, and Donald B. Rubin, Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm (with discussion), 1. Roy. Statist. Soc. B 39 (1997) 1-38. Persi Diaconis and Bernd Sturmfels, Algebraic algorithms for sampling from conditional distributions, Ann.
American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, August-September 2000 by The Mathematical Association of America