April 18th and 19th (by Zoom)

Yes again in 2023 – register on the CHI website.

The course will be virtual1 and comprise three units:

  1. April 18 – 16:30–18:00 UK Time (BST) = 17:30 CET = 8:30am PDT
  2. April 18 – 18:30–20:00 UK Time (BST) = 19:30 CET = 10:30am PDT
  3. April 19 – 16:30–18:00 UK Time (BST) = 17:30 CET = 8:30am PDT

(I think I’ve got my timezone conversions right, but do double check!)

Many researchers and practitioners find statistics confusing. This course aims to give attendees an understanding of the meaning of the various statistics they see in papers or need to use in their own work. The course builds on the instructor’s previous tutorials and master classes including at CHI 2022, and on his recently book “Statistics for HCI: Making Sense of Quantitative Data”. The course will focus especially on material you will not find in a conventional textbook or statistics course including aspects of statistical ‘craft’ skill, and offer attendees an introduction to some of the instructor’s extensive online material.

The course as arranged around three key topics:

  • Understanding randomness – getting a gut feel for the behaviour of random phenomenon and in particular how easy it is to see structure when there is none – learning how probability can help us where our intuition fails – understanding the ubiquity of the Normal distribution and why it cannot be applied without great care to power-law data from social networks and similar phenomena.
  • Doing it (if not p then what?) – traditional (p-testing) and Bayesian statistics – what they mean and what they don’t – philosophical differences between the two – common issues including the role of the researcher vs the experiment.
  • Design and implementation – gaining power – how to ensure studies and experiments reveal real effects including the noise–effect–number triangle – interpreting and visualising results.

Following the T-model, the intention is not to dig into all equally. The highlighted aspects above are likely areas to drop into depth as they are least common in standard ‘how to do it’ treatments. However, I’d also like to offer opportunities for participants to ask questions, so will weight up presented content vs. discursive elements. The ultimate aim is not to cover loads of content – the online materials provide that anyway, but to give the participants the sense that this is something they can engage with themselves.

  1. Was intended to be in-person, but had to change plans. []