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Revitalizing Statistics In The Chemical Engineering Curriculum

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.350.1 - 2.350.5



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Paper Authors

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David E. Clough

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

Session 2613

Revitalizing Statistics in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum

David E. Clough Department of Chemical Engineering University of Colorado

For many years, the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado has struggled with the dilemma of how to provide our undergraduate students with appropriate knowledge and skills in applied statistics. We have attempted, with varying degrees of failure,

⇒ traditional “introduction to probability and statistics” courses at the sophomore and freshman (!) levels taught by ChE faculty or applied mathematicians ⇒ statistics “modules” concurrent with our junior and senior laboratory courses ⇒ a capstone statistics course in the last semester of the senior year

In the last two years, we have developed and implemented a new approach embodied in a new course at the beginning of the junior year. This new course, Applied Data Analysis, combines a mainstream of applied statistics with a threadline of content in instrumentation and measurement techniques. The purposes of this integration are two:

⇒ to bring relevance and life to the statistical material, and ⇒ to prepare students for the measurements and data analysis of the following laboratory courses

A first attempt at this course was not successful (students’ point of view). In a second attempt, the instructional format was revolutionized to an active-learning environment, where lecture presentation has been minimized and group workshop activities now take up a significant portion of class time. This transformation has brought about a successful offering of the course, and a tale worth recounting.

In the third offering of the course, the active-learning environment will be enhanced through use of a new classroom designed around cooperative learning in the new Integrated Teaching Laboratory of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at Colorado.

An alternate title to this paper/presentation might be:

How to keep 60 ChE juniors awake and interested in statistics at 8 o’clock in the morning!

Clough, D. E. (1997, June), Revitalizing Statistics In The Chemical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6768

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