STAT3402 Communication and Problem Solving with Statistics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Science students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 3 elective
This unit develops the interdisciplinary communication and problem-solving skills needed by a quantitative professional, such as a professional statistical consultant or a quantitative researcher working as part of a multidisciplinary research team. The main aims are to expose students to the types of challenges in communication and in problem solving that typically arise in this professional context, and to equip students with basic strategies and skills for interdisciplinary communication and problem solving. Interdisciplinary communication skills include written and oral communication in technical and non-technical language and in formal or informal presentations, interpersonal and presentational skills, and ethical awareness. Problem solving is a process that involves acquiring an understanding of the problem, identifying and clarifying the essential parts of the problem, reformulating the problem in a quantitative setting, making strategic and tactical decisions about handling the problem, tackling the technical core of the problem, translating the results back to the original context, and presenting the results in a comprehensible manner to the client. The unit covers all phases of the problem-solving process, giving strategies for each phase.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate and reflect on a range of professional reporting and writing styles and skills used by quantitative researchers; (2) demonstrate and reflect on a range of professional speaking and presentation skills used by quantitative researchers; (3) demonstrate and reflect on a range of professional critical information literacy concepts and skills expected of quantitative researchers—in particular, to access and critically appraise information from various sources, including formal statistical content in journal articles and media publications; (4) demonstrate and reflect on a range of professional interpersonal concepts and skills required of a successful statistical consultant; (5) effectively analyse data and communicate statistical results clearly to a non-technical audience by both written and oral presentations; and (6) demonstrate statistical problem-solving skills in addressing a scientific enquiry from a client.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentations; (2) a writing practice assignment; (3) a formal project report to the client; and (4) laboratory tests. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Berwin Turlach
Unit rules
STAT3401 Advanced Data Analysis
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practical classes: 1 hour per week; labs: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.