Erin Leatherman joined the Kenyon faculty in 2018 after spending five years teaching at West Virginia University. Her statistical research is related to an experimental methodology that incorporates deterministic computer simulators that implement mathematical models of physical processes. Simulators can be used as a stand-alone experimental platform when a traditional physical experiment is not possible or they can be used in conjunction with physical experiments; elements of Leatherman’s research intersect both areas. Additionally, she enjoys collaborating with others on interdisciplinary projects.

Leatherman has enjoyed teaching a wide variety of statistics courses ranging from introductory to doctorate-level courses. These courses have included theory, application and computational topics. In each of her courses, Leatherman seeks to empower students to be critical thinkers who are capable of solving hard problems and to be good communicators who can share results in written and oral forms. In 2021, she was recognized with the Kenyon College Trustee Teaching Excellence Award.

Areas of Expertise

Design and statistical analysis of computer experiments


2013 — Doctor of Philosophy from The Ohio State University

2008 — Master of Science from Bowling Green State University

2006 — Bachelor of Arts from Bluffton University

Courses Recently Taught

Special Topic

This is a basic course in statistics. The topics covered are the nature of statistical reasoning, graphical and descriptive statistical methods, design of experiments, sampling methods, probability, probability distributions, sampling distributions, estimation and statistical inference. Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for means and proportions are studied in the one- and two-sample settings. The course concludes with inference-regarding correlation, linear regression, chi-square tests for two-way tables and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software is used throughout the course, and students engage in a wide variety of hands-on projects. This counts toward the core course requirement for the major. Students with credit for STAT 116 cannot take STAT 106 for credit. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.

This course focuses on choosing, fitting, assessing and using statistical models. Simple linear regression, multiple regression, analysis of variance, general linear models, logistic regression and discrete data analysis provide the foundation for the course. Classical interference methods that rely on the normality of the error terms are thoroughly discussed, and general approaches for dealing with data where such conditions are not met are provided. For example, distribution-free techniques and computer-intensive methods, such as bootstrapping and permutation tests, are presented. Students use statistical software throughout the course to write and present statistical reports. The culminating project is a complete data analysis report for a real problem chosen by the student. The MATH 106–206 sequence provides a thorough foundation for statistical work in economics, psychology, biology, political science and many other fields. This counts toward the statistical/data science (column E) elective for the major. Prerequisite: STAT 106 or 116, or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP statistics exam. Offered every semester.

Each offering of this course approaches the study of variability using a particular set of statistical tools (such as Bayesian Analysis, biostatistics, sports analytics, experimental design or statistical machine learning). Specific statistical methodology within a subfield of the discipline is examined. A large component of each offering involves intensive projects in which students are expected to determine which statistical methods are appropriate for a given setting before analyzing data. As part of these projects and daily activities, students use R to analyze data to make inferences about the population characteristics of interest. Additionally, written and oral communication are a regular part of the course. The course may be repeated for credit as long as the subfield is different. That is, students may receive credit for each specific subfield only once. This counts toward the statistical/data science (column E) elective for the major and toward an elective for the math and statistics minor. Prerequisite: any STAT course at the 200 level or higher or permission of the instructor. Offered every spring.\nAdditional information for different subfields:

This course focuses on linear regression models. Simple linear regression with one predictor variable serves as the starting point. Models, inferences, diagnostics and remedial measures for dealing with invalid assumptions are examined. The matrix approach to simple linear regression is presented and used to develop more general multiple regression models. Building and evaluating models for real data are the ultimate goals of the course. Time series models, nonlinear regression models and logistic regression models also may be studied if time permits. This counts toward the statistical/data science (column E) elective for the major. Prerequisite: STAT 106 or 116, and MATH 224. Offered every other spring.

Individual study is a privilege reserved for students who want to pursue a course of reading or complete a research project on a topic not regularly offered in the curriculum. It is intended to supplement, not take the place of, coursework. Individual study cannot be used to fulfill requirements for the major. Individual studies will earn 0.25-0.5 units of credit. To qualify, a student must identify a member of the mathematics department willing to direct the project. The professor, in consultation with the student, creates a tentative syllabus (including a list of readings and/or problems, goals and tasks) and describes in some detail the methods of assessment (e.g., problem sets to be submitted for evaluation biweekly; a 20-page research paper submitted at the course's end, with rough drafts due at given intervals; and so on). The department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor for at least one hour per week. All standard enrollment/registration deadlines for regular college courses apply. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study by the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval. Permission of instructor and department chair required. Individual study courses may be counted as electives in the major, subject to consultation with and approval by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. No prerequisite.