Okayama JALT:

Zen and the Art of Statistics

Date: Saturday, June 9th, 2007 Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Gregory Sholdt

For some, reading a correlation matrix is about as straightforward as finding meaning in a Zen rock garden. But for those who regularly walk the path of quantitative reasoning, a deeper beauty can emerge from the carefully arranged columns of coefficients. Within the community of language instructors and researchers, a division emerges when considering the wide range of proficiencies in the ways of statistics. The result is a communication gap that prevents quantitative researchers from fully reaching their intended audience and restricts the availability of valuable information for many of those who want it. Sources of this problem include limited access to formal training in quantitative methods, the complexity of the subject, and the high anxiety that surrounds it. The purpose of this workshop is to equip participants with multiple techniques and resources that encourage deeper understanding, decrease anxiety, and facilitate independent study. In a fun and relaxed environment, the presenter will introduce a series of carefully-worded questions and statements that are loosely modeled after Zen koans and intended to stimulate focused contemplation. While reflecting on these quantitative riddles, participants will engage in short writing, discussion, and visualization activities aimed at demystifying statistics and fostering an appreciation for the beauty behind the numbers. The presentation should be a unique and enjoyable experience and appeal to participants with a range of backgrounds, interests, and statistical proficiencies.

Organization: Okayama Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Okayama JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 500 yen

Venue: Sankaku A Bldg. 2F near Omotecho in Okayama City

Location: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan


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Contact Okayama JALT

Website: sites.google.com/site/okayamajalt/

Scott Gardner
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