Talks and presentations

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Random Forests and Predicting Fracking

October 31, 2019

Talk, California University of Pennsylvania Mathematics Club, California, PA

When you have thousands of variables that you can select from to describe and predict whether active fracking is occurring, how do you choose? Random forests are a learning method that uses an ensemble of decision trees to build a predictive model. We’ll discuss how to make a random forest and how we used one to tell what measures from the microbiome and the sample site best predicted active fracking status.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Random Forests and Predicting Fracking

October 10, 2019

Talk, Franklin and Marshall College and Millersville University Joint Colloquium in Mathematics, Lancaster, PA

When you have thousands of variables that you can select from to describe and predict whether active fracking is occurring, how do you choose? Random forests are a learning method that uses an ensemble of decision trees to build a predictive model. We’ll discuss how to make a random forest and how we used one to tell what measures from the microbiome and the sample site best predicted active fracking status.

A Mathematician Knits an Afghan

August 05, 2019

Talk, Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects (MOVES), New York City, NY

Abstract: While knitting a Hue Shift afghan, I began to wonder, how many possible afghans of this type are there? This led to more questions. What makes an afghan a Hue Shift? What should we count and how? These questions will be answered and other questions will be asked.

Classroom Response Systems and Peer Instruction: Two Literature Reviews and a Demo

November 01, 2018

Talk, Brown Bag SoTL Talk Series, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Abstract: Classroom Response Systems also known as clickers have been used as an active learning technique together with peer instruction to increase student participation and understanding. I will discuss some study results from two recent literature reviews, one on each topic. Also I will demonstrate the free system of clickers, plickers, that I currently use.

Introduction to Data Science with No Prerequisites

May 01, 2018

Electronic Poster, Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics (ECOTS), New York City, NY.

With Loren Rhodes. Abstract: Introduction to Data Science is often offered as a course with prerequisites varying from an introductory statistics course to a first course in programming. Juniata College offers Introduction to Data Science as a class with no prerequisites that is intended for first year students. The course is part of the minor in Data Science. It is team taught by a statistician and a computer scientist and uses R and Weka as computing tools. This poster will talk about the course and its content along with successes and challenges in offering the course.

Introducing R to Different Statistical Audiences.

January 01, 2018

Talk, Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Diego, CA

Abstract:This semester all three of my classes, Introduction to Probability and Statistics, Introduction to Data Science, and Statistical Consulting are using R. Each class has many students who have never used R and have a few who have. I will discuss the implementations that I used in each class and what the advantages and challenges of each implementation were. Options such as using an Rstudio server and different graphing tools will be discussed.

Comparisons

September 01, 2017

Talk, Who is your neighbor? Talk Series, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Stop comparing your outsides to other people’s insides. Illustrated with personal experiences.

Reviewing Prerequisite Material for a Course: How and When Should It Be Done?

January 25, 2017

Talk, Brown Bag SoTL Talk Series, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Joint work and talk with Henry Escuadro. Abstract: When teaching a course with a prerequisite, we sometimes find that many students are underprepared on the prerequisite material needed. Whether we do a formal review or not is dependent on many factors. But if we are going to review the prerequisite material for the course we are teaching, two relevant questions that we should ask are how and when. In AY 2016, Henry Escuadro and Kim Roth worked on a project that they hoped would answer these questions in the context of Calculus 1. The standard prerequisite for Calculus 1 is Precalculus. Though Precalculus is offered at Juniata, many students taking Calculus 1 encounter the prerequisite materials in high school. However, due to various reasons, we find that many students come underprepared on precalculus material and doing a review of precalculus benefits a group of these students. Members of the Math Department do reviews two different ways — the first method is done at the beginning of the semester while the second method is done throughout the semester. This project was done to determine whether there was a difference in effectiveness between the two methods.

Plickers

June 01, 2016

Talk, AP Statistics Best Practices Talks, Kansas City, MO

Plickers is a classroom response system that I use in my classroom. Slides(‘http://www.apstatsmonkey.com/StatsMonkey/ReadBestPractice_files/plickersAPReading.pdf’)

Using Plickers in Introductory Statistics

January 01, 2016

Talk, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Seattle, WA

Abstract: Classroom response systems or clickers are a popular way to get whole class feedback on a question. Used with peer instruction and discussion they can enhance students understanding of the material. However many systems cost both you and the students money. Plickers is a new free option for which the students use no devices to answer the question. Instead it uses pictures based on QR codes. I will discuss the reasons clicker questions are great to use in the introductory statistics classroom and the successes and challenges of doing so with Plickers.