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In Chapter 1 of your textbook, the section on “The Scope of Modern Statistics” discusses that statistical methods are applied in most fields to better understand the issues they must address and assist in presenting those issues to others. In this assignment, you will identify and consider three ways your field might engage with or use probability and statistics to define and address issues of and around the current coronavirus pandemic. To assist you in starting to think about this issue, please connect to Pandemics and the Challenges Created by Them (this is a page on you Canvas website and can be connected to that way if you have difficulty with this link)

You will identify three issues, and then examine the one that interests you the most to look at how probability and statistics can inform understanding and/or addressing the problem or issues created by it. To research this you may look at articles in credible news sources, journals, books, encyclopedias, and industry publications. After which you will develop what you thought through into a short essay that you will share with your classmates in a group discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  • In this assignment, you to identify several specific ways your field uses probability and statistics. This will provide a starting point for working with your assigned group and start you thinking about the probability and statistics applications you will address in assignment CA1.4
  • You will learn to communicate clearly about probability and statistics as applied in Engineering or Computer Science to a specific audience for a particular purpose.


  • Envision and Connect. Identify three ways that your field of study is or could use statistics in the containing, managing, and halting a pandemic. These can be in the following areas or others!
    • The rapid development of treatments
    • Medication production systems capacity
    • Medication delivery systems
    • Exposure tracking
    • Exposure containment
    • Safety of front line medical personnel
    • Just-in-time medical facilities for overload situations.
    • Food system exposures
    • Safe, culturally sensitive handling of fatalities
    • Effective communication of data the government and public need
    • Other related issues you may think of

Identify at least three possibilities where your chosen major touches issues involved in dealing with a pandemic. If you cannot think of any possibilities take a look at the resources on Pandemics and the Challenges Created by Them

  • Go Deeper. Select the issue among the three that is most interesting to you. Then think through where probability and statistics could play a role in understanding and addressing this issue using the questions below and Chapter 1 of your textbook as a resource. Look for a few reputable resources to help you fill out this information (You do not have to be limited by these questions.)
    • What potential challenges exist or could arise from the problem you identified?
    • What consequences exist if the problem is not adequately addressed? (this answer should include individual and societal consequences)
    • What do you think you would need to know to identify the important parameters of your problem?
    • What data could help inform your understanding of the scope of the challenges or problems you described?
    • What data could help you present to the public the issues you or others need to address
    • Is there an entity that might already have this data? If so, is it available publicly or through the USF library?
    • Based on what you would need to know to identify the parameters of the problems, how can probability or statistics be used to define the scope of the problem or the approach to addressing it? Be specific in your description.
  • Example. Look at the attached example as a guide to aid in setting up your document. You may use a different format if you find a professional document layout you think is better.
  • Develop a Clear Engaging Message –
    • Topic: How [insert your field] Engineers OR Computer Scientists will use probability and statistics to help prepare for and survive a pandemic.
    • Develop a brief handout that is easy to read.
      • Audience: This handout will be used to initiate a conversation with classmates in the same of a parallel field about the significant role that probability and statistics can play in your field. You should have a finished document that can be shared on the discussion board prior to the day of the class discussion.
      • Length – Your document should be about one-two pages (11-12 point Times New Roman Font) with the references included. It should only be two pages if you included valuable graphics. Do not use graphics that are not meaningful to the document. I recommend using 1.15 line spacing instead of 1 as it will be a little easier to read.
      • Organize your document with titles, subtitles, and bullet-pointed full sentences to make it easy to follow. (You may look at brochures or white papers put out by professionals to model.)
      • Include citations and a reference list using APA formatting, of any sources you used to think through or document your idea. (minimum of three reputable sources.)

What you will be graded on

  • Did you find three statistical applications in your field that relate to addressing a pandemic?
  • Did your document use language appropriate for your audience?
  • Is your document professional in appearance and easy to follow?
  • Did you edit your document, so that the writing is clear and without significant grammar errors?
  • Did you include in-text citations and the required credible references?


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