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Statistical Topic

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  • A cartoon suitable for a course website that makes use of a boxplot to display an outlier and also uses the term "statistically significant" in its punch line. The cartoon is number 539 (February, 2009) 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 a course website or classroom use in teaching about sample surveys (election polls). The cartoon is number 500 (November, 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 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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    Average: 3 (1 vote)
  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about cohort effects versus age effects in epidemiological studies. The cartoon is number 2080 (December, 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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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about the idea of a falsifiable hypothesis. The cartoon is number 2078 (November, 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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  • 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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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about publication bias and the small sample caution in hypothesis testing. The cartoon is number 2020 (July, 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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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about model fitting techniques. The cartoon is number 2048 (Sept, 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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  • An activity to gather data on oranges for use in a unit on descriptive statistics.  The idea was presented at the 2019 USCOTS meeting by Katherine Frey Froslie and is described in her blog at https://www.statistrikk.no/2019/05/19/oranges-are-the-new-statistics/

    Here students measure how long it takes them to peel an orange (an easy to peel variety is recommended for in-class usage), what the orange weighs (possibly with and without the peel), and how many wedges are in the orange.  This creates a data set with both discrete (# of wedges) and continuous variables (time to peel, weight, percentage of orange weight in the peel) to be used for description. Other variables can be added through class discussion depending on student interest. An easy to peel variety of oranges  

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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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