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  • A haiku poem that uses a fortuitous numerical fact about a birthday probability that can launch discussion of the "68-95-99.7 rule" and how 99.73% of values are within 3 standard deviations of the mean for a normal distribution. Here 364/365 ≈ 0.9973 (365/366 is the same out to four decimals so this also applies to leap years).  Students can also recognize that birthdays do not follow a normal distribution, but approximately a uniform distribution (so that the approximate chance that two people have different birthdays is about .9973) . The poem was written by Lawrence Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso in February, 2021.

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  • A joke to help in a discussion of how a well designed experiment helps to reduce the variance of the response variable.  The Joke was written by Larry Lesser (The University of Texas at El Paso) and Dennis Pearl (Penn State University) in Februrary 2021.

    Note - when the joke is spoken there is no need to say the parenthetical part - simply pronounce the word "variants" to sound like "variance".

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  • A poem to help in discussing matched-pair designs. UTEP Professor Larry Lesser wrote this poem on February 1, 2021, using end-rhyme couplets to convey (literally and figuratively) tradeoffs of a design with matched pairs.  Note that the rhymes are not always perfect, a reflection of how it can be impossible to match subjects perfectly. Also note how the would-be final couplet is ruined by losing its second line, just as you effectively lose two subjects when one subject in a pair chooses to drop out of your study. 

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  • A limerick to teach the inclusion-exclusion rule for finding the probability of the union of two events.  The poem was written by Marion D. Cohen from Drexel University and published in the January 2021 issue (vol 11 number 1) of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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  • A limerick to teach the addition rule for finding the probability of the union of disjoint (mutually exclusive) events.  The limerick was written by Marion D. Cohen from Drexel University and published in the  January 2021 (vol. 11, issue 1) Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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  • A collection of jokes brainstormed by Larry Lesser (The University of Texas at El Paso) and Dennis Pearl (Penn State University) in January 2021, inspired by encountering the first item of unknown origin.  The collection is designed with a particular activity in mind to have students compose and think about the many ways data are viewed and handled by focusing on jokes of the form  "The data on _____A_________ are _____B_____,"

    and then to explain what it means for data to be ___B____. 18 humorous examples are provided.

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  • A joke to be used in discussing the Sign test (based on whether an observation is above or below a specific value) and the Wilcoxon test (based on ordering the observations).  The joke was written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso in December 2020.

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  • A pun to start a discussion of the use of a sign test.  The joke was written by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University in 2020.

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  • A 2020 cartoon illustrating the idea of heteroscedasticity (non-constant variance) that might be used to start a discussion on the important of the constant variance of errors in making inferences from regression models.  The cartoon was used in a 2021 Teaching Statistics paper "Statistical edutainment that lines up and fits," by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University and Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.

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  • A cartoon that can used to help discuss the difference between large and small datasets and the kinds of issues involved in analyzing them and the questions that can be answered with them. The cartoon was used in the April 2020 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Eric Vance from the University of Colorado Boulder. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

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