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Statistical Topic

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  • The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment is a quote by British writer Celia Green (1935 - ) from her book "The Decline and Fall of Science" (Hamilton Ltd., 1976). The quote also appears in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.

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  • A cartoon suitable for a course website or classroom use in teaching about sample surveys (election polls). The cartoon is number 500 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 song parody about how teachers lament that their students do not learn to think. Yet the exams they give only test memorization of rote facts. May be sung to the tune of Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Lyrics written by Dennis Pearl with lots of help from Lawrence Mark Lesser (University of Texas, El Paso). Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.

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  • Song contains concepts and terms associated with linear regression. May be sung to the tune of "I Walk the Line" (Johnny Cash). Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.

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  • A song about the fit of linear regression, describing the difference between observed and fitted values and related aspects. May be sung to the tune of "Mexican Hat Dance" (traditional). Recorded June 26, 2009 at the OSU Whisper Room: Larry Lesser, vocals/guitar; Justin Slauson, engineer. This song is part of an NSF-funded library of interactive songs that involved students creating responses to prompts that are then included in the lyrics (see www.causeweb.org/smiles for the interactive version of the song, a short reading covering the topic, and an assessment item).

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  • Song addresses strategies and myths for playing a state lottery, incorporating concepts of probability, independence, and expected value. May be sung to the tune of "The Gambler" (Don Schlitz). This song kicked off USCOTS 2009 and an earlier version appeared in Winter 2002 "STATS". Recorded June 26, 2009 at the OSU Whisper Room: Larry Lesser, vocals; Justin Slauson, engineer.

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  • Evidence, which we have means to strengthen for or against a proposition, is our proper means for attaining truth. is a quote by British nursing pioneer and statistician Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910). The quote appears in her book "Suggestions for Thought to the Searchers After Truth Among the Artizans of England" (page 58, Eyre and Spottiswoode).

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  • The invalid assumption that correlation implies cause is probably among the two or three most serious and common errors of human reasoning is a quote by American evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941 - 2002). The quote is found in Gould's book "The Mismeasure of Man" ( 2nd edition, p.242, W.W. Norton Publishing, 1996).

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  • I have a mass of statistics here, but I am afraid of them because I was never able to do much with that rugged study, mathematics. I can only figure on the multiplication table up to seven times nine, which is - 84. This quote by American humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain: 1835 - 1910) is reported in "The New York Times" on March 30, 1906 as part of a speech Twain gave at a fundraising effort for the New York State Association for Promoting the Interests of the Blind.

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  • A questionnaire is never perfect: some are simply better than others. A quote of American statistician and quality control pioneer William Edwards Deming (1900-1993). The quote appears on page 31 of Deming's book "Some Theory of Sampling" (John Wiley & Sons, 1950) . The quote also appears in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.

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