SMU Statistics Students Clinch Second Spot at the CAUSE A-mu-sing Competition

Team SMU impressed judges with their original song creation at the global contest organised by the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE), demonstrating their strong mathemusician chops

Ms Jamie Tan, a Year 1 student from Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Social Sciences, and her undergraduate statistics teammates, have emerged runner-up in the 2023 global A-mu-sing Contest, organised by the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE). Guided by Rosie Ching, Principal Lecturer of Statistics at SMU School of Economics, the team edged out competitors with their original song creation, demonstrating their mathemusician chops.

The biannual A-mu-sing Contest, which is presently in its ninth edition, receives entries from statistics teachers and students from universities across the globe. Any teacher, student or practitioner of statistics is eligible to enter unpublished examples of statistics jokes, cartoons, songs, poems or videos that are relevant to statistics or statistics education. Winners are awarded cash prizes, and prize-winning entrants are displayed at the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics in 2023. A-mu-sing entries are ultimately considered for inclusion in the CAUSEweb digital library of resources for undergraduate statistics teachers.

CAUSE typically organises the A-mu-sing Contest in conjunction with its undergraduate statistics project competition (USPROC). The USPROC aims to encourage the development of data analysis skills, enhance presentation skills and to recognise outstanding work by undergraduate statistics students. Through such interactive workshops, competitions and song contests, CAUSE seeks to improve student learning in introductory statistics, as well as to engage statistics students and practitioners worldwide.

The SMU team had submitted its entry of statistical inference into the A-mu-sing contest’s “Songs” category in April 2023, after learning about the competition from Ms Ching. Led by Jamie, the team had created an original song for submission with a radio prototype, for their undergraduate Statistics project. The nationwide study, code-named Do.Re.Mi, analysed Singaporeans’ current tastes in radio listening through interviews with more than 7,000 people across Singapore.

"It has been a privilege to lead our group in this,” commented Jamie. “As someone who has dabbled in different art forms, I am grateful for this opportunity, and experience."

Judged based on criteria such as content, student-friendliness, originality and craft, and usefulness in teaching, the contest entries are assessed anonymously by a distinguished panel of statistics educators with much experience having fun in the classroom.

The SMU team’s original entry was received with enthusiasm, with Dennis Keith Pearl, Professor of Statistics, Pennsylvania State University and Director of Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education commenting: “Rosie - your students' song was a smash hit at the banquet.”

“I am happy my students’ song has been such a hit, though they had to change the lyrics a little to make it more statistical in the contest,” said Ms Rosie Ching. “I’ve always believed statistics and music go together like fine wine with cheese.”

Here is the winning song entry, titled “Stats”, by SMU:

Verse 1:

Let us teach you a thing or two

Stats is more than just concepts, for you

Stats, is very useful, can be found around us

Here’s a simple song for you to get to know it better

Verse 2:

F, tests for different variances

Chi, looks for a relationship, you see

Z, checks for both means and true proportions

And T, is used when sigma is unknown to us, so…

Verse 3:

One, decide on your hypothesis

Two, ascertain your significance level

Three, identify which test you should be using, and

Four, complete the steps and analyse your results, and

Verse 4:

These, are four basic tests, for stats

All, can be done in a few simple steps

Stats, is more than numbers so make sure to analyse it

Come, let me show you what to do

Come, let me show you what to do

Come, let me show you what to do!


Click here to view the original song composed by students and dedicated to Ms Rosie Ching.