My Recommendations for excerpts from Against All Odds

I use the following case studies.  Be sure to cut out the series lecturer as much as possible – you are the lecturer!


Tape 1: What is Statistics: Sequence of many brief case study examples (12 minutes). Show it at your first class


Tape 9: Correlation: Identical twins studies (7 minutes).  Compares correlations for twins raised together and twins raised apart


Tape 11: A Question of Causation: Smoking and lung cancer (14 minutes).  Difficulties of establishing causation in absence of controlled experiments


Tape 12: Experimental Design; Physician’s Health Study (7 minutes).  Good example of a controlled randomized experiment


Tape 14: Samples and Surveys: An interviewer training session (3 minutes). How to minimize interviewer bias and non-response.  Humourous.


Tape 16 Random Variables: Challenger space shuttle crash (7 minutes).  Calculate the probability of disaster, using independence. The danger of assuming independence, when common failure modes exist.  You can also calculate the crash probability if the backup o-ring fails independently, or fails always, or say 1 time in 2, when primary fails.


Tape 17 Binomial Distributions: A giant quincunx, providing a nice visual representation of the Central Limit Theorem (1 minute)


Tape 23: Inference for Proportions: Birth defects and polluted water (8 minutes). Good evidence of causal link, for observational data. The movie ‘A Civil Action’ with John Travolta was based on this lawsuit.  


Tape 26: Final Case Study: Clinical trials for AZT (20 minutes). Includes some practical issues like data accuracy, repeated looks at data, power of test.