We are pleased to honour Anthony-Alexander Christidis, Gian Carlo Di-Luvi, and Archer Gong Zhang with Statistics Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards. We know that many department members contribute to our teaching mission, and we want to take the opportunity to not only honour these three, but to thank everyone.
Thank you to all of our dedicated teaching assistants and others who enthusiastically support our teaching mission. And congratulations to Anthony, Gian Carlo, and Archer!
Anthony, a PhD student, has extensive experience in STAT 302 (Introduction to Probability) as a teaching assistant, guest lecturer and, this term, as a Sessional Lecturer. In the last two years, he has also been part of the teaching teams of STAT 305, STAT 406, and STAT 460/560, where last term he delivered mirrored lectures. In STAT 302, he developed material with Ruben Zamar to introduce R programming to more closely connect probability material to statistics skills, for instance, via simulations. He has also assisted Eugenia Yu and Ruben Zamar in writing an introductory textbook in modern statistics, writing entirely new chapters on topics including data visualization, basic robust statistics, and introductory cluster analysis.
Gian Carlo Di-Luvi
Gian Carlo, an MSc student, has been a teaching assistant in STAT 200, STAT 203, and STAT 302, developing course material and supporting active learning endeavors. Gian Carlo has also made major contributions to the department’s Flexible Learning in Introductory Statistics team, developing resources, such as activities and Shiny apps for posting on StatSpace. The posted resources support learning about hypothesis testing and p-values, and his recent focus is on developing material for learning about Bayesian inference. Gian Carlo and the Flexible Learning team, including last year’s Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award winner, Sonja Isberg, have assessed many of these resources via student focus groups and are now writing up the findings for publication.
Archer Gong Zhang
Over the last two years, Archer, a PhD student, has served as head TA in STAT 203 and has served regularly on the STAT 302 teaching team, as a teaching assistant and as a Sessional Lecturer. As a Sessional Lecturer during Term 2 of 2019–20, Archer played a large role in the transition from in-person to online learning, working with the instructor of the other STAT 302 section to modify material and formats for this new virtual world. Because of his teaching skills and his experience in the STAT 302 transition, in the summer of 2020, Archer led a team of students to support the department’s move to online learning in the fall of 2020. The team created enough online material for labs, in-class activities, clicker questions, and CANVAS quizzes to last one to two months in four introductory statistics courses.