Important Links

  1. -Syllabus (pdf)

  2. -Class blog

  3. -eReserves password = honors

Useful Links

  1. -University Honors Program

  2. -University of New Mexico

How to Lie with Statistics:
Uses and Misuses of Numbers in Argument
UHON 302-005
Spring 2013 

Instructor: Diane Oyen
Office: FEC 331 (Farris Engineering Center)
Office hours: Tu/Th 3:30 - 5pm (or by appointment)
Best contact: doyen AT

Reading assignments for 3rd unit:
3/26 Watch video: The Vaccine War, Frontline,
3/28 Wakefield, The Lancet (eReserves)
4/2 Retraction of Wakefield (eReserves)
4/4 Madsen, et al, “A Population-based study of MMR vaccination and autism”, The New England Journal of Medicine, November 2002, (or eReserves)
4/9 John Cook, Irreproducible Analysis, The Endeavor (blog), Also, NY Times article
4/11 Kevin Coombes, Jing Wang, and Keith Baggerly, “Microarrays: retracing steps”, Nature Medicine, November 2007, (or eReserves)
4/16 Joel Best, “Lies, Calculations and Constructions: Beyond How to Lie With Statistics”, Statistical Science, August 2005 . (or eReserves)
Evaluation form for group presentations: link.
Fill out a different form for each group (other than your own group), for a total of 5 forms. The deadline for this is Friday, April 26.

New reading assignment added for Tuesday 4/16 (see above schedule or eReserves).

Causal relationship experiment with coin flipping and rolling dice (link).

Reading assignments for the rest of the semester are now posted and available on eReserves! They have changed slightly since last week.

Reading assignment for 3/19/2013 (also available on eReserves)
Bora Zivkovic, “Nate Silver and the Ascendance of Expertise,” Scientific American Blogs, Nov 14, 2012
or as a pdf: ScientificAmerican.pdf
Nate Silver, “Methodology,” New York Times Fivethirtyeight Blog, accessed March 5, 2013
or as a pdf: Methodology538.pdf

If you would like to use the Philadelphia murder data and need an analysis to critique, you can use these:

By request, here is the spreadsheet of Morton’s data from Lewis, et al that I used to create the handout in class. The two “Measurements” sheets are copied from Lewis, et al (you can follow their link below to get their version).  The “Frequency” tab shows the calculations that I did to create the histograms in the “Charts” sheet.
Spreadsheet: mortonClassHandout.xls

Individual Critical Assessment instructions: critAssignment.pdf
Due Tuesday 3/5/13

Morton’s cranial capacity dataset (in Excel format), from the research article referenced below.
The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias. Lewis JE, DeGusta D, Meyer MR, Monge JM, Mann AE, et al. (2011) The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias. PLoS Biol 9(6): e1001071.

Philadelphia Enquirer’s interactive homicide data
or as a spreadsheet