Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Most Classic Line In All of Statistics

During the first year I taught statistics, one of my former students--then a math major, now a math teacher--was helping me grade some projects.  We were talking about concepts my students found difficult to understand or remember, in part because I was perhaps not experienced enough at teaching the subject to know how to "bring it down to their level".  Specifically, we were talking about P-values and whether or not a certain P-value merits rejection of the null hypothesis.

If you don't know anything about hypothesis testing and the notation used in them, you just won't get this.  But he told me that his stats professor in college had the following saying:  "If P is low, reject the Ho." 

If my students remember nothing else from my stats class, they remember that! (Well, that, and that all the cool kids refer to the "standard dev", not "standard deviation".)

No comments: