Amelia McNamara

Photo courtesy Mark Brown

Associate Professor, University of St Thomas Department of Computer and Information Sciences

My work is focused on learning what makes it easier to do and to understand statistics, and my research interests include statistics education, statistical computing, data visualization, and spatial statistics.

Recent notable work of mine includes

For a more detailed look at my recent work, see my writings and presentations.

I have research projects in progress about the impact of R syntax on learning and teaching, the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in spatial statistics, and the ways in which data analysts check their work. I employ several undergraduate research assistants and I am always willing to work with students on research projects.


At the University of St Thomas, I regularly teach STAT 220: Introduction to statistics, STAT 320: Applied Regression Analysis, and STAT 336: Data Communication and Visualization If you are interested in seeing materials from these courses (syllabi, assignments, etc) please email me. I keep meaning to post them online here but there’s never enough time! (Update: 336 is up!)

At Smith College, I taught Multiple Regression (Spring 2016, Fall 2016), Introduction to Probability and Statistics (Fall 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2017), Communicating with Data (Fall 2017), and Data Journalism (Spring 2018).

At both Smith and St Thomas, I have had students author Wikipedia pages as part of my course. I’ve written about some of the frustration with this assignment on my blog, and also have a list of all the successful pages my students have written.

For three years, I was a graduate student researcher on the Mobilize project, which developed a year-long data science curriculum for high school students called Introduction to Data Science. When I last checked, the IDS curriculum has been used in 15 school districts and has had almost 10,000 students take it. The curriculum includes participatory sensing and computational analysis in R and RStudio. My work with Mobilize has been a source of inspiration for my ongoing research into computational tools for novices.

Curriculum vitae

My CV is available here, although like many academics I don’t always do the best job of keeping it up-to-date. If you’re curious about how I TeXed it up, you can view a version of the code on GitHub