## Gelman’s Candy Weighing Demonstration

We did Andrew Gelman’s candy weighing demonstration in class on Friday. This was the first time I’ve had a chance to teach sampling in some time and really wanted to do it. These were not traditional statistics students, however. We did this in research methods. So these are students interested in management and getting drug through a statistics course. And that might be putting it nicely. Nevertheless, they were good about the experiment. We also had some slight modifications to Gelman’s procedure. First, we used the measurements (in grams) printed right on the side of the packaging. And everyone did

## Syllabus for Intermediate Algebra

I am teaching intermediate algebra this spring and I wanted to post the syllabus and give a bit of a comment here. You can find the syllabus on my math education page. The course catalog gives a description: A study of problem-solving techniques in intermediate-level algebra. The goal is to demonstrate number sense and estimation skills; interpret mathematical ideas using appropriate terminology; manipulate, evaluate, and simplify real-number and algebraic expressions; and translate, solve, and interpret applied problems. Emphasis is on numbers and algebraic properties, graphing skills, and applications drawn from a variety of areas (such as finance, science, and the

## Data Science for Restaurant Inspections

At work, we just did a really neat set of predictive models for restaurant inspections. This is all based on the work Chicago did for the analysis. We kinda/sorta split into different groups and did analyses for three cities (with links to reports): Raleigh, North Carolina, Syracuse, New York, and Denver, Colorado. Together, these three reports show different approaches and analyses we used in the three different cities, along with discussion of how we applied the Chicago work. More information is available from our GitHub page: GitHub – iscoe/restaurant_inspections: Predicting violations for restaurant inspections restaurant_inspections – Predicting violations for restaurant

## Adam Gopnik Needs to Get Real

Adam Gopnik has a strange essay in The New Yorker, suggesting that the confluence of unusual events confirms the simulation hypothesis. Specifically, the results from the Oscars, the Super Bowl, and 2016 Election confirm a “glitch in the matrix” has occurred: Did the Oscars Just Prove That We Are Living in a Computer Simulation? Last night’s Oscar bizarreness was not just bizarre but bizarre in a way that is typical of this entirely bizarre time. The rhythm of the yes-they-won-oh-my-God-no-they-didn’t event, with “La La Land” replaced by “Moonlight” as Best Picture, was weirdly like that of . . . Election

## Textbook Pricing is Out of Control

It’s an older story, but here’s one on textbook prices and what we can do about it. The short version is that even your professor thinks the \$300 price tag on a textbook is ridiculous and we need better solutions. Some professors are creating custom textbooks or bulk purchasing arrangements. Almost all of UMUC has gone to online learning resources that are freely available. It’s had some downsides, but the upside is there, too. When I taught public finance for the University of Baltimore, I reviewed four or five textbooks and one was head-and-shoulders above the rest. Of course, it