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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about various graphic displays. The cartoon is number 688 (January, 2010) 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 cartoon suitable for use in teaching ideas about independence and conditional probability. The cartoon is number 795 (September, 2010) 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 cartoon suitable for use in teaching about linear estimates (also references median and bell-curve). The cartoon is number 314 (September, 2007) 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 cartoon suitable for use in teaching about time series plots. The cartoon is number 252 (April, 2007) 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 cartoon suitable for use in teaching the difference between how the word random is used in probability compared to some uses in everyday parlance. The cartoon is number 1210 (May, 2013) 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 cartoon suitable for use in teaching about Bayes Theorem (an obvious follow-up exercise is to ask what “P(C)” would have to be to make the “Modified Bayes Theorem” correct). The cartoon is number 2059 (October, 2018) 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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  • Summary: Through generating, collecting, displaying, and analyzing data, students are given the opportunity to explore a variety of descriptive statistical techniques and develop an understanding of the distinction between theoretical, subjective, and empirical (or experimental) probabilities. These concepts are developed with activities using Hershey KissesTM and may be extended to introduce the sampling distribution of a sample proportion. The activities are described in M. Richardson and S. Haller. (2002), “What is the Probability of a Kiss? (It's Not What You Think),” Journal of Statistics Education, 10(3), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10691898.2002.11910683

    Specifics: The main activity uses Hershey’s Kisses to explore the concept of probability. Three specific sub-activities are performed such as: 

    1. Students explore the empirical probability that a plain Hershey’s Kiss will land on its flat base when spilled from a cup. 
    2. Students make predictions about the probability of an almond Hershey’s Kisses landing on its base when spilled from a cup, after having experimented with the plain Kisses.
    3. Students explore the properties of the distribution of a sample proportion to see whether the percentages of base landings have a specified distribution and whether they think that the number of Kisses tossed affects the shape or the mean and standard deviation of this distribution.

    (Resource photo illustration by Barbara Cohen, 2020; this summary compiled by Bibek Aryal)

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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 poem written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso to discuss the topic of randomness and the lexical ambiguity of the word "random" in statistical versus everyday usage.  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 joke to start a discussion about how probability is used to study uncertainty in real life situations. The joke might depend somewhat on the composition of the audience since understanding the joke relies on knowing that probabilidad is the Spanish word for probability. Also, in delivering the joke it might help to put some emphasis on the last syllable to make this a true "dad joke". The joke was written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.

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