Introduction to the Book Of Apps for Statistics Teaching

The apps in this collection are the work of undergraduate students majoring in Statistics at Penn State University. These students took part in the BOAST program in 2017, 2018, and 2019. (BOAST = Book Of Apps for Statistics Teaching). The program included either a DataCamp course on Shiny (2018, 2019) or a full day workshop at the U.S. Conference On Teaching Statistics on Developing R Shiny Applications to Enhance Teaching and Learning presented by Justin Post and Herle McGowan from North Carolina State University (2017). This was followed by a full-time summer research experience developing the apps in this collection throughout the months of June and July. Finally, the BOAST students take part in a one-credit research class in Fall semester to showcase their work to statistics instructors, prepare a survey and IRB application to get student feedback in a human subjects research setting, and then formally test their apps in a live class. Besides gaining expertise in R and R Shiny, the students gained a deeper understanding of selected statistical concepts and learned crucial skills in the team-based reproducible development of software (e.g. though the use of the GitHub platform). This book is laid out in twelve chapters with four at the introductory level covering topics in Data GatheringData DescriptionBasic Probability, and Statistical Inference and with eight chapters at the upper division level covering ProbabilityRegressionANOVATime SeriesSamplingCategorical Data, Data Science, Stochastic Processes, and Biology.


Key People:

  • Program Supervisor and Principal Mentor: Dennis Pearl
  • Faculty Mentors: Matthew Beckman (2017 – 2019), Neil Hatfield (2019), and Priyangi Bulathsinhala (2017)
  • I.T. Support: Bob Carey
  • 2017 BOAST Students: Alex Chen, Qichao Chen, Jinglin Feng, Zibin Gao, Sitong Liu, Ryan Manigly-Haney, David Robinson, Yingjie Wang (2018 Peer Mentor), Caihui Xiao, Yuxin Zhang (2017 Website Coordinator)
  • 2018 BOAST Students: Jiajun Gao, Stephen Li, Thomas Mclntyre, Samuel Messer, Angela Ting, Ryan J Voyack, Luxin Wang, Zhiliang Zhang, Yinqi Zhang (2019 Peer Mentor), Yubaihe Zhou (2018 Website Coordinator)
  • 2019 BOAST Students: Oluwafunke Alliyu (2019 Website Coordinator), Yiyun Gong, Sean Klavans, Yuqing Lei, Shubo Sun, Jingjun Wang, Ruisi Wang, Yiyang  Wang, Zhiruo Wang, Yutong Wu, and Shunqi Zhang.

Disclaimer: Because of time constraints, these apps have not yet been thoroughly tested on multiple platforms and by large groups of users. Please send lists of bugs and suggestions for improvement to Dennis Pearl ( This website is best optimized on Google Chrome.

Instructors: email Dennis Pearl to request instructor resources for this app collection (lesson plans and multiple choice assessment items).

Icons and Attributes Key:

Icon/Attribute Description
Jump to the homepage of the PSU Statistics Department from within an app or back to this page from outside the apps.


Hints for the app

Instructions for the app

Return to Homepage

View/Hide timer

Play slider animation

Explore with simulation
Multilevel app
Real data usage

Median 5-point mobile friendliness rating reported by multiple users:

1 = Not functional

2 = Functional – Very awkward

3 = Functional – Okay if no big screen available (multiple issues)

4 = Usable in a small class setting (single issue)

5 = Readily usable