Hamilton AP statistic students hear from guest speakers

Hamilton High School students in Penny Komatz’s Advanced Placement Statistics class heard from several guest speakers in April. The speakers illustrated how advanced statistical methods are used in research and to reach conclusions. The speakers also presented information to help students review for the Advanced Placement (AP)Test.

Don Eastwood, a consulting manager with the Biostatistics Division of the Medical College of Wisconsin spoke April 14. He discussed:

  • careers that use statistics and how they differ in their use of them;
  • his educational background;
  • the statistical process that he uses as he guides doctors and researchers at the college;
  • how misanalysis of data has lead to problems at the Medical College, other Milwaukee colleges and for the Challenger disaster;
  • the Biostatics Division and program in which he works; and
  • likely topics on the AP test such as independence, power, Type I and Type II errors.

Thomas Chelius, a biostatistician for the Medical College of Wisconsin spoke April 15. He discussed:

  • his background;
  • the field of biostatistics;
  • key knowledge to have to become a biostatistician;
  • aspects of epidemiology including its definition, history, case studies of specific diseases, fields, types of studies; and
  • studies in which he has been involved including the Women’s Health Initiatives.

Chelius also had students design a study comparing the effectiveness of aspirin and Tylenol noting variables to be controlled and potential confounds.