Alison Gibbs is a Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto, St George campus. She completed a BMath in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo and a BEd at the University of Western Ontario. She taught secondary school mathematics before pursuing graduate studies in Statistics at the University of Toronto, completing an MSc and a PhD. She held Post-Doctoral and Assistant Professor positions at York University, before returning to the University of Toronto as a faculty member in 2002. She served as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Statistics during a period of unprecedented growth in student demand for programs in statistics, from 1000 students to over 4000 students.
Alison has taught probability, statistical theory, and statistical practice to students at all levels, ranging from a first-year course in data science to courses in statistical collaboration for final-year undergraduate students and for graduate students. She has taught in a variety of formats, including small seminar courses, large lectures, and a Massive Open Online Course with over 60,000 students. Her professional work has focussed on the teaching and learning of statistics and data science at all levels, from primary through graduate school. She has been engaged in various projects related to data science in schools, online learning, inverted classrooms, statistics and data science curriculum development, and the development of professional identity and adaptive expertise.
Her research interests have ranged from theoretical properties of statistical algorithms to how students learn. Her publications include studies of convergence rates of Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, collaborative work investigating issues in human health, explorations of how secondary school students reason about Big Data, and examinations of how students most effectively engage with online learning resources.
Alison received the Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012, the University of Toronto President’s Teaching Award in 2016, and a 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2018.