Welcome to the Baylor University Interactive Statistics Modules Project! Here at BaylorISMS we try to demystify statistical science. At their heart, most concepts in statistics are incredibly intuitive; the difficulty often comes in trying to communicate the ideas. With the aid of modern computing and particularly web technologies, we hope to overcome many of these obstacles which have plagued statistics educators for decades.
Whether you’re just starting out in statistics or a Ph.D. researcher in another field, we hope that these modules can bring to life some of the ideas that have so profoundly changed modern science and engineering. Let us know how we’re doing and, if you’re really adventurous, make a module of your own!, we’ll be happy to see it.
What you’ll need
One of the best parts of BaylorISMs is that it’s incredibly light weight for its capabilities. For most users, all you will need to do is download the excellent free program called the Wolfram CDF Player, made by the makers of the great math software Mathematica. All you need to do is type in a few bits of information (nothing too personal, and you don’t need an account), and you’re off to the races.
The modules work on Windows, OS-X (Mac), and Linux machines and with most browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.). So odds are, if you’re reading this page, you’re only one free download away from using BaylorISMs!
What is BaylorISMs, anyway?
As you navigate through BaylorISMs, it’s helpful to know the structure and the terminology. How would you describe BaylorISMs? In some ways, it’s like Wikipedia – you can search for individual topics, those topics are organized by common themes, and so on. And in some ways it’s like Khan Academy – the webpages have videos in them which illustrate various aspects of the topics. In others it can look like Slideshare, since some of the pages have slides embedded in them. But in some ways it’s like none of these – most pages have a part of them that you can play with which illustrates various aspects of a concept. These parts we call an instance, which is really an embedded Wolfram CDF file. Each of these technologies combines in BaylorISMs to present stats concepts in an entirely new way.
So how is it organized? BaylorISMs has a few relatively static pages – the home page for example, or this one – but most aren’t. The real meat of BaylorISMs is the individual webpages which we call modules or concepts. For example, you can learn about probability distributions in the probability distributions module. Modules are organized by categories accessed through portals. For example, many foundational topics in statistics have concepts which are accessed through the General Statistics portal.