Todd Swanson

Retired Faculty
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Todd Swanson has been a member of the mathematics department since 1989. He predominantly teaches introductory courses in mathematics and statistics, and he has coauthored numerous textbooks. 

Under his mentorship, many of his students have won awards in the Undergraduate Statistics Class Project Competition.

Todd has presented at numerous national meetings, workshops and mini-courses on innovative ways to teach mathematics and statistics that focus on guided-discovery methods and projects. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Great Lakes College Association, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Teagle Foundation and Hope College.

AREAS OF expertise

Todd writes curriculum materials for introductory mathematics and statistics courses that focus on active learning. His focus lately has been on how to teach introductory statistics using simulation-based methods.


  • M.A., Mathemathics, 1989, Michigan State University
  • B.S., Mathematics, 1985, Grand Valley State University

Honors & Awards

  • Best Journal of Statistical EducationPaper, 2018 and 2012 
  • Daniel Solow Author’s Award for Introduction to Statistical Investigations, Mathematics Association of America, 2018
  • Most Promising New Textbook Award, for Introduction to Statistical Investigations, Textbook and Academic Authors Association, 2017
  • Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award, Hope College, 2009



  • Intermediate Statistical Investigations,with Tintle, B. Chance, K. McGaughey, S. Roy and J. Vanderstoep, John Wiley & Sons, 2021  
  • A Spiral Approach to Financial Mathematics, with N. Tintle and N. Schelhaas, Academic Press, 2018
  • Introduction to Statistical InvestigationsAP Edition, with Tintle, Ruth Carver, B. Chance, G. Cobb, A. Rossman, S. Roy and J. Vanderstoep, John Wiley & Sons, 2018; 2nd ed. 2020
  • Introduction to Statistical Investigations, with N. Tintle, B. Chance, G. Cobb, A. Rossman, S. Roy and J. Vanderstoep, John Wiley & Sons, 2015
  • Understanding our Quantitative World, Mathematics Association of America, 2005
  • Precalculus: A Study of Functions and their Applications, Harcourt College Publishing, 2001
  • Projects for Precalculus, Saunders College Publishing, 1997

Select Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Assessing the Association Between Pre-course Metrics of Student Preparation and Student Performance in Introductory Statistics: Results from Early Data on Simulation-Based Inference vs. Nonsimulation-Based Inference,” with Tintle, Jake Clark, K. Fisher, B. Chance, G. Cobb, S. Roy, and J. Vanderstoep, Journal of Statistics Education, 2018
  • “Combating Anti-statistical Thinking Using Simulation-based Methods throughout the Undergraduate Curriculum,” The American Statistician, 2015 
  • “Retention of Statistical Concepts in a Preliminary Randomization-Based Introductory Statistics Curriculum,” Statistics Education Research Journal, 2012
  • “Development and Assessment of a Preliminary Randomization-Based Introductory Statistics Curriculum,” Journal of Statistics Education, 2011
  • “Precalculus: A Study of Functions and their Applications,” in A Fresh Start for Collegiate Mathematics: Rethinking the Courses below Calculus, MAA Notes #69, 2006
  • “Do Dogs Know Calculus? A Statistical Investigation,” STATS: The Magazine for Students of Statistics, 2004

Outside the college

Todd serves as director of running events on the board of the Holland Running Club. He has run many marathons (including a qualified Boston Marathon) and one ultramarathon. He enjoys other outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and golf. He and his wife Debra (a Hope sociology professor) have two grown children.

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Todd Swanson

Phone Number616.395.7679

Retired Faculty
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