Sean McCusker

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BACKGROUND Deposition of beta-amyloid in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease is thought to precede a chain of events that leads to an inflammatory response by the brain. We postulated that genetic variation in the regulatory region of the gene for the proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) leads to increased risk of(More)
Statistics ... the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art; the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education... Florence Nightingale The paper reviews the nature of statistics in the UK National Curriculum. While there is great(More)
1 Introduction: Multivariate data are commonplace in children's lives and they routinely encounter a degree of complexity which goes far beyond anything they meet within the school curriculum. Pupils engage in debate about the relative merits of football teams, pop bands, teachers, computer games, mp3 players and the like where the comparisons are not like(More)
Many subjects in the school curriculum engage with contexts where multiple factors interact. Historically however, data have rarely been used at school level in such contexts because of the difficulties inherent in understanding multiple variable relationships. Stronger links across traditional subjects has proved an elusive aspiration for curriculum(More)
Computers facilitate reasoning with complex data. We report a study where 195 students aged 12 to 15 years were presented with computer based tasks that require reasoning with multivariate data, together with paper based tasks from a well established scale of statistical literacy. All the tasks fitted well onto a single Rasch scale; computer tasks were(More)
OECD has launched its Global Project that aims to develop new measures of the nature and progress of societies and to increase the capability of citizens to understand and use this information. We contend that this needs to be accompanied by a developing programme at school level to equip the next generation to understand relationships in complex data. This(More)
Introductory courses in statistics often progress from simple analysis to anova and interaction. The epistemology is close to elementary physics – simplify, decompose, analyse, then add the bits together again, and you will understand the phenomena. Most interesting problems in social sciences are multivariate, and variables interact in complex ways.(More)