July 8th is Math 2.0 Day, a celebration of math intermingling with technology! Have you ever wondered what life was like before we had advanced software to help us perform data analysis? I thought it might be fun to chronicle the evolution of Minitab Statistical Software.
Where we’ve come …
- In 1972, three Penn State faculty members developed Minitab Statistical Software with the goal to incorporate the use of computers into the teaching of college statistics courses. With Minitab, computer software could now perform tedious statistical calculations rather than students having to do them “by hand” on electronic calculators. This allowed students to concentrate on what really mattered—learning the statistical concepts!
- In 1976, the “Minitab Student Handbook” was published and used alongside the software to teach students statistics in the college classroom. The combination of Minitab software and the Student Handbook completely changed the way statistics was taught.
- The 1980s was an exciting time for Minitab! Visiting professors to Penn State took the software back to their home universities and Minitab established an international presence. The organization received the go-ahead from Penn State to become a private company and moved into its headquarters in State College, Pa. Students who learned Minitab in college took their knowledge with them into their careers, and as a result, industry and government started obtaining Minitab software licenses.
- During the 1990s, PCs became very affordable and because this was the predominant computing platform for development, there was much more competition from other stat packages. Minitab focused on targeting the niche market of statistical quality improvement and soon many prestigious companies were using the software.
- 2000s: Minitab has become the leading general purpose statistics package used for statistical quality improvement worldwide, and in the academic world, more students have been taught statistics using Minitab than any other statistical software package.
Where we’re going …
The latest release of Minitab features a new menu called the Assistant, which helps you choose the right tool using an interactive decision tree. The Assistant takes statistical software to a whole new level—even providing interpretation of your output. To observe Math 2.0 Day we’ll be celebrating technology by continuing to develop new features to make our software even easier for you to use!
How are you going to celebrate Math 2.0 Day?