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I completed some certificate courses, which are designed to teach people how to conduct statistical analysis using "R" (a programming language).

I am trying to highlight this in my resume. I want to highlight the fact that R was an integral part of these courses, and that it wasn't just my preferred choice of tool/programming language.

I am struggling to clearly indicate this connection. I have tried the following:

A: Completed professional certificate courses on statistical inference and modelling using R (main topics included data wrangling, data visualization, hypothesis testing, simulations, multivariate regression analysis, and model selection).

B: Completed professional certificate courses on statistical inference and modelling, where I used R for data wrangling, data visualization, hypothesis testing, simulations, multivariate regression analysis, and model selection.

When my friend read these sentences, he asked "Why did you use R and, say, not Python?". Clearly, he thought that it was my choice and I decided to use R. These courses are taught using R, and so both the content and the tool are equally important. It's like painting a misty waterfall: you need to study the nature (thickness of the mist, shape of the cliff, texture of the rocks, etc.) as well as learn how to properly use your oil colors, different types of brushes, and other mediums to create that atmosphere and realism.

What can I modify in either sentences so the meaning is clear?

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    Please consider nominating yourself for the position of moderator on ELL. Your English is native-like yet you also comprehend the difficulties of mastering a language, and the embarrassment of being misunderstood. I believe you have the necessary qualities to be a just moderator because from what I've seen you never snap back at people. You are respectful, kind and patient, and ELL needs a moderator who guides users, and cares about standards. Please think about it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:47
  • @Mari-LouA Thanks! Done!
    – AIQ
    Oct 24, 2021 at 19:17

1 Answer 1

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The basic problem with both of your sentences is that they describe the subject matter of the course as "statistical inference and modelling," and then go on to say that R was "used" for this course. There is nothing in either sentence which explicitly states that R itself was a subject of the course, so a careful reader would not make that assumption. Sentence A is formally ambiguous; it can be parsed in one of two ways:

Completed professional certificate courses on (statistical inference and modelling using R)

Or:

(Completed professional certificate courses on statistical inference and modelling) using R

Sentence B, unfortunately, tends to connote the second interpretation rather than the first, because pushing R out into a subordinate clause further distances it from the noun phrase "statistical inference and modelling." Sentence B says that you "used" R, but it does not say why you used R.

One option would be to "invert" the subjects, putting R first and then describing what it was used for:

Completed professional certificate courses on R, with focus on statistical inference and modelling.

It is simply impossible for a careful reader to misconstrue this sentence, because it explicitly states that the courses were about R in particular, and not about statistical inference and modelling in general.

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  • Good suggestion and very well explained. You are right about the ambiguity in version A. Actually, the courses were titled as such: "... statistical inference and modelling using R". You wrote "One option would be ...". What are some other options? If you were to write the whole thing in your own words, how'd you do it?
    – AIQ
    Oct 17, 2021 at 5:15
  • @AIQ: If that was the literal title of the course, you should set it in italics or quotation marks, or otherwise indicate it with formatting, so that nobody mistakes it for a generic description of the course.
    – Kevin
    Oct 17, 2021 at 8:58

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