Struggling with Statistics? You need MASH! (and I don’t mean potato)

University of Sheffield Bloggers

When it comes to statistics, it seems my brain really is like a sieve. During my maths A Level, I never thought I would forget how to do a T-test, make a Chi-squared table or calculate Spearman’s Rank. But as soon as I stopped bashing through stats problems on a regular basis, the knowledge slipped away like shadows in the dawn. Which is quite unfortunate really, as since starting my PhD here at Sheffield, I keep generating piles of data from my experiments. All of which needs careful analysis to make it “thesis-worthy”. I’ve reluctantly come to accept that, for myself at least, statistics is not like riding a bike -a skill which never leaves you. Instead, I was in desperate need of a refresher course. True, you can find countless textbooks and websites, but I found these pretty uninspiring and quickly forgot the techniques. What I really needed was…

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The Fundamentals of Human-Interaction Design

The fundamentals of human-computer interaction includes a mix of psychology, web design, computer science, information systems, marketing, entertainment, and business. Interaction design is the design of interactive products to support people in their everyday and working lives. This entails creating user experiences that enhance and extend the way people work, communicate, and interact. Moreover, much of interaction design needs consideration of cognitive, social and affective issues, and that designers need to learn to weigh the pros and cons and be prepared to make trade-offs.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are essential to the economy and to sustainable long-term economic growth.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are essential to the economy and to sustainable long-term economic growth. The demand for stem workers in the United States across industries is expected to grow faster than other occupations in the next decade.

Leadership isn’t about sailing through with great ideas and success stories.

Affecting change is often a wearisome struggle to get others to understand your goal – and a struggle that occurs behind closed doors. In the end, you are a number of others might be able to forge a compromise that, you hope, makes things a little better than they were before. Alternatively, you try to spread the vision to the next generation in the hopes that they will be able to carry on and succeed where you did not.

This was one of the hardest things for me to accept. You want to get to see the changes happen and you want them to be big, not a small step forward others will have a hard time appreciating.

Being a leader is about challenging the status quo, realizing that “the way things are” is not the way they have to be. What I didn’t understand was that no matter how diplomatic you try to be, somebody will always take your challenge personally and feel insulted. Surround yourself with a few good people who will ask similar questions of you. Through debate, you will gain a firmer grasp on your own beliefs and may even realize you were wrong. There is no shame in that. It’s not about being right all the time; it’s about how you deal with being wrong.

Go out into the world a better leader and a stronger person, and leave behind the next generation that will learn from, be inspired by, and build upon your efforts. Success isn’t what other people define it as; it’s how you define it for yourself.


Make as many mistakes as you can, and apologize for every single one.

Making mistakes are the best lessons you can learn from. Make them often, but be genuine about apologizing for them. When all else fails, take responsibility and apologize. No one will remember the apologies, but no one will forget the time you failed to take responsibility.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you “no”.

Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever take “no” for an answer. If you want something to happen, it will because you will think strategically, thoughtfully and creatively. But please, don’t ever accept “no” as a “reasonable” answer.