Stats students take the cake

30 October 2006

When grades started lagging in the sizeable first-year statistics class, convenor Dr Leanne Scott came up with a sweet idea. A chocolate cake. Scott introduced an informal competition where the student who shows the most improvement from one test to the next wins a chocolate cake. So, too, would the student who comes top of the class. The first winners were Martina Cho and Tom Brukman (in picture), students in the class of Marienne de Villiers, who shared a cake between them. Top student Cho scored full marks for her last test, while Brukman received his slices because of his honesty. He was originally named as the person to have shown the most improvement, but discovered that was not the case and owned up. It turned out that classmate Paul da Silva was in fact the winner of that category. And it appears that the cake temptation has paid off. "Yes, there was a substantial improvement in marks," reports Scott, "although this is hard to attribute to the cake factor alone." Maybe the thought of a sugar rush was just the icing on the cake.

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