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  • The true logic of this world is the calculus of probabilities. This is a quote of Scottish physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell (1831 - 1879). The quote is found on page 197 in volume 1 of "The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, (James Clerk Maxwell and Peter Michael Harman, ed.)".
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  • January 26, 2010 webinar presented by Alicia Gram, Smith College, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University. This webinar describes an activity that uses data collected from an experiment looking at the relationship between two categorical variables: whether a cotton plant was exposed to spider mites; and did the plant contract Wilt disease? The activity uses randomization to explore whether there is a difference between the occurrence of the disease with and without the mites. The webinar includes a discussion of the learning goals of the activity, followed by an implementation of the activity then suggestions for assessment. The implementation first uses a physical simulation, then a simulation using technology. (Extra materials, including Fathom instructions for the simulation, available for download free of charge).

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  • Statistics are to baseball what a flaky crust is to Mom's apple pie. is a quote by American television journalist Harry Reasoner (1923 - 1991). The quote was said in a story on the news magazine show, "60 minutes."
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  • I can prove anything by statistics except the truth is a quote by British politician George Canning (1770 - 1827). The quote is found on page 587 of the 1908 book "Dictionary of Thoughts" edited by Tryon Edwards. The quote may be used to illustrate the idea that statistical inference is often geared toward demonstrating what is unlikely to be true rather than proving what is true.
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  • February 9, 2010 T&L webinar presented by Hollylynne Lee (North Carolina State University) and Todd Lee (Elon University), and hosted by Jackie Miller (The Ohio State University). A model for probabilistic reasoning will be discussed that may support students' statistical reasoning. The development of the model and instructional implications are based on theoretical considerations and empirical results from work with middle grades students. Significant time for discussion is planned to get reactions to the model as well as to discuss aspects of probability that participants believe are foundational to building statistical literacy or reasoning.
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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about various graphic displays. The cartoon is number 688 from the webcomic series at xkcd.com created by Randall Munroe. Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites under a creative commons attribution-non-commercial 2.5 license.
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  • Science walks forward on two feet, namely theory and experiment ... Sometimes it is one foot that is put forward first, sometimes the other, but continuous progress is only made by the use of both -- by theorizing and then testing, or by finding new relations in the process of experimenting and then bringing the theoretical foot up and pushing it on beyond, and so on in unending alterations. is a quote by American physicist Robert Andrews Millikan (1868 - 1953). The quote comes from Dr. Milikan's May 23, 1924 Nobel lecture.
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  • ... if the difference isn't different enough to make a difference, what's the difference? is a quote by American agricultural statistician Victor Chew (1923 - ). The quote is found in his 1980 paper "Testing differences among means: correct interpretation and some alternatives" ("HortScience" pages 467-470). The quote can be used in discussions of practical significance versus statistical significance.
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  • This applet is designed to allow users to explore the relationship between histograms and the most typical summary statistics. The user can choose from several types of histograms (uniform, normal, symmetric, skewed, etc.), or can create their own by manipulating the bars of the histogram. The statistics available for display are mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, and interquartile range. Also available is a "Practice Guessing" option, in which the values of the statistics are hidden until the user has entered guesses for each value.
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  • This java applet provides students with opportunities to visualize the Monty Hall paradox (i.e., the famous "three-door" problem often discussed in introductory statistics courses). By going through the simulation and reading the accompanying materials, students can better understand concepts related to probability, and they can also see the need to gather data in order to test theories about what might happen under particular conditions (especially since the outcome of the Monty Hall problem tends to contradict students' initial intuitions).
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