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Integration Of Statistics Throughout The Undergraduate Curriculum: Use Of The Senior Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Laboratory As An End Of Program Statistics Assessment Course

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Statistics in the CHE Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.758.1 - 8.758.11



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Paper Authors

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Darin Ridgway

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Valerie Young

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Michael Prudich

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3513

Integration of Statistics Throughout the Undergraduate Curriculum: Use of the Senior Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Laboratory as an End-of-Program Statistics Assessment Course

Michael E. Prudich, Darin Ridgway, Valerie L. Young Department of Chemical Engineering Ohio University


Graduates of chemical engineering programs should have the ability to use basic statistical techniques to analyze and interpret process and experimental data. Chemical engineers should also have the ability to identify the statistical appropriate tool to accomplish a specific data analysis task. This paper describes the undergraduate course of instruction in statistics in the chemical engineering program at Ohio University. This course of instruction begins with a basic introduction to linear regression which takes place in a freshman-level chemical engineering computing course, includes a junior-level course devoted to statistical analysis and experimental design, and ends with the application of statistical data analysis tools in the senior-level unit operations laboratory course sequence. Spreading the exposure to statistical analysis across the curriculum permits longitudinal reinforcement of important concepts and skills. Special emphasis is placed on the use of the senior-level unit operations laboratory experience as a capstone statistics usage and assessment tool. This course provides the students with an opportunity to break out of the “chapter box” which is often characteristic of stand-alone statistical methods courses. The courses also emphasize the point that experimental planning and design includes not only the selection of the experimental parameters to be studied, but also the planning of the data analysis and statistical treatments to be utilized in the interpretation of the experimental data that is acquired. The proper assessment of statistics-related performance in the senior-level laboratory courses provides end-of-program assessment data on student statistical skills and abilities.

Statistics Throughout the Curriculum

Statistics are used by chemical engineers both to interpret data and to formulate and test models derived from data. The importance of statistics in the engineering curriculum has been recognized by ABET. The 1999-2000 general criteria1 include the requirement that “students must demonstrate knowledge of the application of probability and statistics to engineering problems.” Recently, with the advent of EC 2000, chemical engineering departments have had more flexibility in determining learning objectives and their associated outcomes. The need for a working knowledge of statistical analysis tools and techniques is specifically recognized by the Department of Chemical Engineering at Ohio University under our Objective 1: “Graduates will

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ridgway, D., & Young, V., & Prudich, M. (2003, June), Integration Of Statistics Throughout The Undergraduate Curriculum: Use Of The Senior Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Laboratory As An End Of Program Statistics Assessment Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11491

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