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Statistical Topic

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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about scatterplots and correlation. The cartoon is number 388 (Feb, 2008) 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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  • A joke to use in presentations about the importance of control and replication in experimentation.  The joke was written by Larry Lesser (The University of Texas at El Paso) and Dennis Pearl (Penn State University) in March 2020.

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  • A cartoon to initiate discussions about how the correlation is a unitless number that does not change with changes in the units of the variables involved.  The cartoon was created in February 2020 by British caetoonist John Landers based on an idea by Dennis Pearl (Penn State) and Larry Lesser (Univ of Texas at El Paso). An outline of a lesson plan for the use of the cartoon is given in a 2020 Teaching Statistics article by Dennis Pearl and Larry Lesser.

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  • A poem written in 2019 by Sabrina Little, a middle school student at the Mackintosh Academy in Boulder, CO.   She entered it into the American Mathematical Society’s Math Poetry Contest contest for Colorado middle school, high school, and undergraduate students in connection with the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver. Sabina’s poem was judged the winner in the category for middle school students.  The poem uses imagery which can enhance a lesson on line of fit and outliers.

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  • A joke about the meaning of an inequality symbol like ≤ written in February 2020 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso and Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

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  • A joke to help in discussions of the value of random assignment in experiments and in discussing pedagogical options.  The joke was written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso in February 2020.

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  • A joke to help discuss how random assignment is an unbiased experimental method.  The joke was written by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University in February 2020.

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  • A poem written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso to discuss systematic sampling.  Students should be familiar with the lyric being sampled from (though you could provide it to make sure) and verify that the systematic sample involved sampling every third word and starting with the lyric’s first word. Students could create their own poems with different systematic samples (or different text to sample from).  The poem is part of a collection of 8 poems published with commentary in the January 2020 issue of Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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  • A poem written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso to discuss the normal distribution and its percentiles.  Students could first be shown a copy of the National Center for Health Statistics growth chart graph paper so they will appreciate the details of the poem. And after reading or hearing the poem, students could verify the detail that the 40th and 60th percentiles are half a standard deviation apart. The poem is part of a collection of 8 poems published with commentary in the January 2020 issue of Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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  • A poem written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso to discuss the simplest case of line of fit where the slope and correlation coefficients each have a value of 0.  The poem is part of a collection of 8 poems published with commentary in the January 2020 issue of Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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