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Re: st: A Word to Future Authors

From   Philip Ryan <>
Subject   Re: st: A Word to Future Authors
Date   Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:33:52 +0930

As a teacher of biostatistics (to non-statisticians) I have enjoyed reading this thread. I use my own reasonably detailed set of practical notes which students follow at the computer (much along the lines of Ulrich Kohler's approach, I think).

As far as exercises are concerned, I would like to make an additional point - and this especially applies to data management and manipulation tasks: the StataList is a very rich source of problems that an instructor can set his or her students, especially problems from some way back in time (so students are unlikely to stumble on them and read the entire thread with solutions!) One can always modify them to suit the needs of the class. I have collected about 20 problems over the years that I think are classics and the students get enormous benefit from nutting them out, although some have been heard to mutter uncharitable things about me from time to time. The best thing is to give out hints _very_ parsimoniously via email when they hit a brick wall and watch as they gradually become more Stata-minded in their approach to data.

So, for some tasks, there is no need to re-invent wheels, the denizens of the List help out yet again.


At 11:32 AM 11/08/2005 +0200, you wrote:

Raphael Fraser wrote:
> I have a complaint about introductory Stata books. Recently, I have
> been searching for  "intro to Stata" books to teach masters level
> students how to use Stata. Of the two intro books at Stata's book
> store none had EXERCISES to reinforce concepts. Why should I buy a
> book and create my own exercises? I feel cheated. While these books
> meet the objective of 'illustrating' how to use some commands they
> fail to reinforce concepts. Have anyone ever seen a statistics text
> book without problems at the end of each chapter? Why is that? Because
> Statistics authors know that their students will never fully
> understand certain concepts until they attempt to solve problems
> themselves. Why should Stata's intro books be different? If authors
> are serious about Stata then there must be problems at the end of each
> chapter. We all know that seeing something done is not enough.
> Students will never learn Stata until they actually attempt some task
> in Stata.
Philip Ryan
Associate Professor,
Department of Public Health
Associate Dean (Information Technology)
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Adelaide 5005
South Australia
tel 61 8 8303 3570
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