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Covid and data science: Understanding R0 could change your life

Ridgway, Jim

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The Covid epidemic has provided an excellent example of the need to call on a wide variety of statistical tools to address a global problem, and can give students insights into some of the dimensions of data science. Here, we describe some of the characteristics of data that students encounter as citizens. We set out some teaching ideas, which focus on a few familiar core ideas—such as exponential growth, estimation, interpreting graphs, measurement, and sampling—set in the authentic context of containing a pandemic. In the final section, we sketch some more ideas on activities to develop student skills essential for civic engagement in a data-rich world.


Ridgway, J. (2021). Covid and data science: Understanding R0 could change your life. Teaching Statistics: An International Journal for Statistics and Data Science Teaching, 43(S1), S84-S92.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 21, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2021
Publication Date Jun 25, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 5, 2021
Journal Teaching Statistics
Print ISSN 0141-982X
Electronic ISSN 1467-9639
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue S1
Pages S84-S92


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Copyright Statement
© 2021 The Author. Teaching Statistics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Teaching Statistics Trust.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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