team of PIs (for grants listed at bottom of page)
Dennis K. Pearl (http://stat.psu.edu/people/dkp13) is Professor of Statistics at Pennsylvania State University, having recently moved there from Ohio State. Dennis has directed CAUSE since 2002. He has authored many national grants and papers in both statistics and statistics education. A recent interview of him is HERE.
Lawrence M. Lesser (http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/) is Professor of Mathematical Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso, where he also has directed the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. His statistics education research has led to several awards, service on editorial boards, and textbook co-authorship. At UTEP, he works with UTEP Music Dept. faculty Dominic Dousa and Steve Haddad on the NSF SMILES grant and worked with Rey Reyes from UTEP College of Education on the NSF UPLIFT grant. A recent story on him is HERE.
John J. Weber (http://depts.gpc.edu/~clamcse/faculty.html) is a tenured Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Perimeter College at Georgia State University (called Georgia Perimeter College up until Jan. 6, 2016), where he has been teaching advanced mathematics since 2003 and won its Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016. His current research interests include the effect of using fun on student learning and anxiety in the statistics classroom, the effective use of technology in post-secondary mathematics, and how to engage students through inquiry-based learning. A recent story on him is HERE.
including one or more of the authors on fun in math/statistics education, whether or not it was part of the grants; major entries are in boldface
Lesser, L.M., Pearl, D.K., Weber, J.J., Dousa, D., Carey, R.P., & Haddad, S.A. (under review). Developing Interactive Educational Songs for Introductory Statistics: An Innovation from an NSF Project
Lesser et al. (July 2018). “Using Innovative Technology and Interactive Songs to Engage ALL Students in Statistics”, Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, Houston, TX
Pearl/Weber/Lesser (July 2018). "Web-based interactive song activities for Introductory Statistics" 6-page (Topic 9) paper in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Teaching Statistics, Kyoto, Japan.
Lesser et al. (June 2018). Using Innovative Technology and Interactive Songs to Engage Students in Standards-based Introductory Statistics Learning Objectives: Discussing Lessons Learned from NSF-funded Project SMILES. TODOS 2018 national conference, Scottsdale, AZ.
Weber/Pearl/Lesser (March 2018). “Using Interactive Songs to Increase Student Engagement and Learning Statistics”, International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, Washington, DC.
Weber, J., Pearl, D.K., & Lesser, L. (Jan. 2018). Project SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs, poster at MAA and NSF joint poster session for holders of NSF DUE awards in the mathematical sciences (organizer: Jon Scott). Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Diego, CA.
Weber et al. (Nov. 2017). Using Web-Based Interactive Songs to Help Students Learn Statistics, 43rd AMATYC Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.
Pearl/Lesser/Weber/Dousa (Oct. 26-28, 2017). A web-based interface to support interactive songs: Helping college students learn STEM. Joint meeting of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction and The College Music Society in San Antonio, TX.
Lesser, L. (Sept. 27-28, 2017). A continuum of interactivity with (mathematics/statistics) songs. VOICES: Virtual Ongoing Interdisciplinary Conferences on Educating with Song. https://www.causeweb.org/voices/2017/panel/1-3
Pearl, D., & Weber, J. (Sept.27-28, 2017). Demonstrating an Interactive Song for Learning Introductory Statistics: The Novel Innovation of NSF-funded Project SMILES. VOICES: Virtual Ongoing Interdisciplinary Conferences on Educating with Song, videoposter at https://www.causeweb.org/voices/2017/poster/8
Weber/Lesser/Pearl (May 2017). Project SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs in introductory statistics. Poster, 7th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. https://www.causeweb.org/cause/uscots/uscots17/posters/2-03
Weber/Lesser/Pearl (May 2017). Teaching with fun. Birds-of-a-feather roundtable, 7th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. https://www.causeweb.org/cause/uscots/uscots17/birds-of-a-feather/S05
Pearl/Lesser/Weber (May 2017). Show Me How to Use Interactive Statistics Songs! half-day workshop at 7th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. https://www.causeweb.org/cause/uscots/uscots17/workshop/8
Lesser, L., Pearl, D.K., & Weber, J. (April 2017). Changing the rhythm of math class: Using educational songs to cultivate learning and community, 60-minute session, NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition, San Antonio, TX.
Dousa, D., & Lesser, L. (March 2017). Project SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs): A Model for Interdisciplinary Projects in Music and the STEM Sciences. Rocky Mountain Chapter Conference of the College Music Society, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, NM. Abstract at: https://www.music.org/pdf/conf/reg/rm/2017schedule.pdf
John Weber et al. (March 2017) “Project SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs for Introductory Statistics”, poster, 29th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, Chicago, IL.
John Weber et al. (March 2017) “Using Interactive Songs to Engage Students in Learning Introductory Statistics: Overview of NSF-Funded Project.” paper, 29th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, Chicago, IL.
John Weber et al. (March 4, 2017). "Using Interactive Songs to Engage Students in Learning Introductory Statistics: Overview of NSF-Funded Project", talk, Teaching Matters Conference, Gordon State College, Barnesville, GA.
John Weber et al. (Feb. 17, 2017). "Using Interactive Songs to Engage Students in Learning Introductory Statistics: Overview of NSF-Funded Project", presentation at 30th Annual Mathematics Conference -- Perimeter College at Georgia State University. Clarkston, GA.
Lesser, L. (Jan. 2017). Moving between inner and outer worlds [set of 10 math/stat poems with introductory comments]. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 7(1), 275-284. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol7/iss1/21/
Weber, J., Pearl, D.K., & Lesser, L. (Jan. 2017). Using interactive songs to engage students in learning introductory statistics: Overview of NSF-funded project, contributed paper at MAA Session on Humor and Mathematics (organizers: Debra Korkovitz, Gizem Karaali, Semra Kilic-Bahi, Cesar Martinez-Garza). Joint Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta, GA. http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/amsmtgs/2180_abstracts/1125-d5-3014.pdf
Weber, J., Pearl, D.K., & Lesser, L. (January 2017). Project SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs, poster at MAA and NSF joint poster session for holders of NSF DUE awards in the mathematical sciences (organizer: Jon Scott). Joint Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta, GA.
Weber, J.J., Lesser, L., & Pearl, D.K. (Nov. 2016). Student-made interactive learning with educational songs in statistics, poster, annual meeting of American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. Denver, CO.
Lesser, L. M., Reyes, R., Pearl, D., & Weber, J. (Nov. 2016). Fun Fosters Educational Community Culture. Research session for Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education Conference, Louisville, KY. http://podnetwork.org/content/uploads/2016-POD-Program-Draft-21Oct2016.pdf
Lesser, L. M., Pearl, D. K., & Weber, J. J. (July 2016). Assessing fun items’ effectiveness in increasing learning of college introductory statistics students: Results of a randomized experiment. Journal of Statistics Education, 24(2), 54-62. http://tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10691898.2016.1190190?needAccess=true [one of 4 articles selected for summarization in debut digest episode (#1716, 12/21/17) of Math Ed Podcast]
Lesser, L., An, S., & Tillman, D. A. (June 2016). The use of song to open an educational development workshop: Exploratory analysis and reflection. To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, 35(2), 284-302.
Oh, Hyen [undergraduate], Pearl, D., Lesser, L. & Weber, J. (May 2016). Gender differences in statistical anxiety. Archived poster presentation, 3rd Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics. https://www.causeweb.org/cause/ecots/ecots16/posters/a/9
Lesser, L., Dousa, D., Haddad, S., Pearl, D., & Weber, J. (March 2016). Interactive songs to engage students learning introductory statistics: Overview of NSF-funded project. Podium talk at 13th International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning. El Paso, TX.
Lesser, L. (March 12-18, 2016). Music = Math!, The Mini Page, no. 11 [Universal Press Syndicate educational children’s weekly feature read by an estimated 20 million readers across 500+ newspapers in the US and abroad]
Crowther, G. (February 18, 2016). STEM songster interview #19: Professor [Larry] Lesser. http://singaboutscience.org/wp/2016/02/18/stem-songster-interview-19-professor-lesser/
Lesser, L.M., Weber, J.J., & Pearl, D. K. (2016). Using targeted fun in college introductory statistics to decrease anxiety and increase learning: Research, resources, and recommendations [contributed paper at 2016 Joint Mathematics Meetings]. In Carla D. Savage (Ed.), Abstracts of papers presented to the American Mathematical Society, vol. 37, no. 1, issue 183, p. 389. http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/amsmtgs/2181_abstracts/1116-h5-1335.pdf
Lesser, L. (December 2015). ‘American Pi’: The Story of a Song about Pi. Journal of Mathematics Education, 8(2), 158-168. http://educationforatoz.com/images/2015_Larry_Lesser.pdf
Lesser, L. (November 19, 2015). The Gambler. Invited performance at National Museum of Mathematics. https://www.causeweb.org/cause/resources/fun/videos/gambler
Lesser, L.M. & Reyes, R. (June 2015). Student Reactions to the Integration of Fun Material in a High-Anxiety Subject: A Case Study in the Teaching of College Introductory Statistics. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, 8(1), 1-19. http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Transformative%20Dialogues/TD.8.1.6_Lesser%26Reyes_.Case_Study_Statistics_Fun.pdf
Weber, J.J., Pearl, D.K., & Lesser, L. (May 2015). Fun in statistics class: A vehicle for students to make connections. Competitively-selected breakout session presented twice at 6th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics. Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. https://www.causeweb.org/uscots/uscots15/sessions.php#weber
Lesser, L. M. & Weber, J. (2015). Research, resources, and recommendations for using humor/fun in college mathematics and statistics courses: Lessons learned from survey research and NSF-funded randomized experiments and a case study [contributed paper at 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings]. In Abstracts of papers presented to the American Mathematical Society. vol. 36, no. 1, issue 179, p. 354. https://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/amsmtgs/2168_abstracts/1106-e5-1292.pdf
Lesser, L. (November 2014). Research, Rationale, and resources for leveraging fun into learning. Research session for Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education Conference, Dallas, TX. http://podnetwork.org/content/uploads/2014PODConferenceProgram.pdf
Lesser, L. (November 21, 2014). Using ‘Fun’ in the Statistics Classroom: Research and Recommendations. Invited Research Burst talk, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional conference, Houston, TX. http://www.nctm.org/uploadedFiles/Conferences_and_Professional_Development/Regional_Conferences_and_Expositions/Houston_Program_Book_Full.pdf
Lesser, L. (2014). Mathematical lyrics: Noteworthy endeavours in education. Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, 8(1-2), 46-53. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17513472.2014.950833?needAccess=true (“cartoon abstract” of this paper published in May 2016)
Lesser, L., Reyes, R., Pearl, D., Weber, J. (July 2014). Preliminary results of the effects and roles of fun in introductory statistics classes [Poster abstract]. In K. Makar, B. de Sousa, & R. Gould (Eds.), Sustainability in statistics education. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS9, July, 2014), Flagstaff, AZ, USA. Voorburg, The Netherlands: International Statistical Institute. http://icots.info/9/proceedings/pdfs/ICOTS9_P40_LesserPearlReyesWeber.pdf
Lesser, L. (June 2014). Overcoming statistical anxiety and being successful in data analysis. In Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw & Lucinda S. Spaulding (Eds.), Navigating the doctoral journey: A handbook of strategies for success (pp. 65-75). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Keith Pannell's interview of Larry Lesser aired on NPR-affiliate KTEP-FM on 5/29/2014 in the series "100@100: Research for Our Next Century" http://ktep.org/post/100-100-larry-lesser#stream/0
Lesser, L., Pattanayak, C. W., & Pruim, R. (May 25, 2014). Panel on ‘Bridging the Disciplines’ for second Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics (eCOTS), https://www.causeweb.org/ecots/ecots14/51/.
Lesser, L., Pearl, D., Reyes, R., & Weber, J. (May 20, 2014). Bridging the disciplines with fun: Resources and research. Competitively-selected breakout session for second Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics (eCOTS), https://www.causeweb.org/ecots/ecots14/32/
Lesser, L., Carver, R., & Erickson, P. (August 20, 2013). Using fun in the statistics classroom: An exploratory study of college instructors’ hesitations and motivations. Invited Journal of Statistics Education webinar for Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education, archived at https://www.causeweb.org/webinar/jse/2013-08/
Lesser, L. (2013). Exploring (and removing) hesitations to using (thoughtful) fun in statistics classes. Proceedings of the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings, Section on Statistical Education (pp. 534-536). Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/JSM2013.pdf
Robertson, W. & Lesser, L. (July 2013). Scientific skateboarding and mathematical music: Edutainment that actively engages middle school students. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1(2), 60-68. http://www.scimath.net/articles/12/123.pdf
Lesser, L. (May 2013). Plenary featured banquet edutainment. 5th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics. Cary, NC. https://www.causeweb.org/resources/fun/db.php?id=527
Study of Fun cluster group [Lesser, Wall, Carver, Pearl, Martin, Kuiper, Posner, Erickson, Liao, Albert, & Weber] (May 2013). Using fun in the statistics classroom: An exploratory study of hesitations and motivations of USCOTS 2011 attendees, Poster and Beyond, United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Cary, NC. Abstract published in online conference program, https://www.causeweb.org/uscots/uscots13/posters/
Lesser, L.M., Wall, A., Carver, R., Pearl, D.K., Martin, N., Kuiper, S., Posner, M. A., Erickson, P., Liao, S.-M., Albert, J., & Weber, J.J. (March 2013). Using fun in the statistics classroom: An exploratory study of college instructors’ hesitations and motivations. Journal of Statistics Education, 21(1), 1-33. https://ww2.amstat.org/publications/jse/v21n1/lesser.pdf
Lesser, L. (2013). Poetic Reactions. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 3(1), 156-161. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol3/iss1/13/
Lesser, L. (2012). Three Mathematical Lyrics. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 2(1), 104-106. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol2/iss1/9/
Glickman, M., Lesser, L., et al. (May 2011). USCOTS Theater: Show us the Next Big Thing! invited breakout session, 4th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Cary, NC.
R. Carver, P. Erickson, S. Kuiper, L. Lesser, D. Pearl, M. Posner, & A. Wall (May 2011), A Little Fun Makes a Big Difference, invited poster, 4th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Cary, NC.
Lesser, L. (November 2009). Composing Connections: Mathemusician Merges Math and Music in the Music City! opening plenary keynote, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference and Exposition, Nashville, TN.
S. Kuiper, L. Lesser, D. Pearl, & M. Posner (June 2009). Letting Go of the Idea that Stats Class Can’t be Fun and FUNctional, invited poster session at 3rd United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, June 2009.
Lesser, L. M. & Glickman, M. E. (2009). Using magic in the teaching of probability and statistics. Model Assisted Statistics and Applications, 4(4), 265-274.
Lesser, L. & Pearl, D. (2008). Functional fun in statistics teaching: Resources, research, and recommendations. Journal of Statistics Education, 16(3), 1-11. https://ww2.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n3/lesser.pdf
Lesser, L. (July-August 2008). Non-Monotone Math Song Sing-Along!, invited plenary banquet presentation, annual summer meeting of Mathematical Association of America, Madison, WI.
Lesser, L. (2008). Even More Fun Learning Stats. STATS, 49, pp. 5-8, 19, 27. [issue is at https://www.causeweb.org/cause/archive/stats/STATS_49.pdf ]
Lesser, L. (2007). Learning Stats is FUN…with the Right Mode. STATS, 48, pp. 7-11, 21, 26-28. [issue is at https://www.causeweb.org/cause/archive/stats/STATS_48.pdf ]
D. Pearl & L. Lesser (May 2007). Using Fun to Take Statistics Teaching Up a Notch, invited breakout session, 2nd United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, May 2007.
Lesser, L. (April 11, 2006). Making statistics learning fun. CAUSE webinar archived at: https://www.causeweb.org/cause/webinar/teaching/2006-04/
Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) (August 2004 - present). Dennis Pearl launches CAUSE website which includes a highly-visited fun resources collection (https://www.causeweb.org/resources/fun/) that now includes 720+ items, a user’s guide (https://www.causeweb.org/cause/resources/fun/references), a biennial fun item contest since 2006 (https://www.causeweb.org/awards/a-mu-sing/), and a monthly cartoon caption contest since 2016 (https://www.causeweb.org/cause/caption-contest/2017).
Lesser, L. (2003). Further comments and cautions on using humor [comment on Friedman, Friedman, & Amoo, 2002]. Journal of Statistics Education, 11(1). http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v11n1/lesser_letter.html
Lesser, L. (2002). Stat Song Sing-Along! STATS, 33, pp. 16-17.
Lesser, L. (2001). Musical means: Using songs in teaching statistics. Teaching Statistics, 23(3), 81-85.
Lesser, L. (2000). Sum of Songs: Making Mathematics Less Monotone! Mathematics Teacher, 93(5), 372-377.
Lesser, L. (1996 - present). 75+ mathematics/statistics songs published in over two dozen periodicals, including: Mathematics Teacher, Pi in the Sky, The Pi, Journal of Irreproducible Results, Convergence, Math Horizons, Journal of Mathematics Education, Amstat News, Teaching Statistics, Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal, Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, (GCTM) Reflections, (GCTM) eReflections, The Problem Solver: A Math Newsletter for Adult Educators, Texas Mathematics Teacher, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, STATS, News from the World of Statistics, Colorado Mathematics Teacher, The American Mathematical Monthly, To Improve the Academy, Noticias de TODOS, and Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. Some songs have won awards in national contests (e.g., sponsored by American Statistical Association, National Museum of Mathematics, Quantitative Literacy SIGMAA, or Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education.) Also, 29+ mathematics/statistics poems published in many venues including: Talking Writing, The Mathematical Intelligencer, BorderSenses Literary Magazine, Journal of the Association of Mexican American Educators, Intersections: Poetry with Mathematics, Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Texas Mathematics Teacher, Radical Statistics, Bridges Poetry Anthology, and mathematical poetry blogs (Kaz Maslanka; JoAnne Growney). Also I wrote/captioned a number of mathematics/statistics cartoons at https://www.causeweb.org/cause/resources/fun/ .
Collaborative proposal: SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs for Introductory Statistics NSF Div. of Undergraduate Education (DUE) EAGER (Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) grant (Sept. 15, 2015 - Aug. 31, 2018) PSU (1544426); UTEP (1544237); GPC (1544243)
Collaborative Research Project UPLIFT: Universal Portability
of Learning Increased by Fun Teaching NSF Div. of Undergraduate
Education (DUE) TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in
Science) Type 1 grant (Aug.
15, 2012-Aug. 15, 2016) OSU (1141261) PSU(1519554);
Project UPLIFT outcomes report
Project UPLIFT: Universal Portability of Learning Increased by Fun Teaching aimed to enhance and field test the use of fun items, such as songs and cartoons, for learning introductory statistics.
Project UPLIFT enhanced the collection of fun items at www.CAUSEweb.org to make them easier and more pedagogically valuable for instructors’ use with searching, browsing, and annotated links to statistical concepts and references in the literature. The collection currently has 538 items including 97 songs, 132 cartoons, 33 poems, 38 jokes, 191 quotes, 17 videos, 23 artistic sketches, 3 puzzles, and 4 magic tricks. This resource is heavily used by college-level statistics teachers nationally (including those who teach AP Statistics in high school). Further, as part of the UPLIFT project, the Commercial Music Program at The University of Texas at El Paso produced high quality recordings of a preponderance of our educational songs so they could be used without requiring teacher talent.
In our field test, we hoped to show that such materials could enhance student learning and reduce student anxiety. Thus, we conducted a randomized experiment to understand the value of fun inserts in about 15 brief content readings that were developed to be aligned with course curriculum. Our results showed only a small positive effect, on average, for reducing student anxiety that was not statistically significant. However, we did find a statistically significant increase in learning, as students who were randomly assigned to hear songs about statistical concepts averaged 7.7% higher on embedded multiple-choice items in course exams. Finally, by conducting interviews and focus groups with students, we also gained a good deal of contextual information about student perceptions of the use of fun items in teaching and learning. In particular, our findings revealed that students valued, engaged in more, and felt they understood the material better when an instructor enacted a fun-enhanced pedagogy that built on the emotional aspects of teaching and learning.
To maximize impact and dissemination, project resources are freely online for statistics teachers. Project leaders also produced peer-reviewed papers and talks, conducted workshops, and archived a variety of online presentations and activities.
or enter Federal Award ID number in the search box of: https://www.research.gov/research-portal/appmanager/base/desktop?_nfpb=true&_eventName=viewQuickSearchFormEvent_so_rsr