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Correlation

  • A song to be used in discussing how the correlation coefficient is invariant to linear transformations (or just reverses sign when values are multiplied by a negative number). The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the 1980 song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” written by Eddie Schwartz and popularized by Pat Benatar. Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-LtFLuA5VY

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  • A song that may be used in discussing the correlation coefficient and the interpretation of positive versus negative values and their magnitude. The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of Carl Perkin’s 1955 rock and roll song Blue Suede Shoes. Also, an accompanying video may be found at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RipAdV5jt0g

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  • A song that may be used in discussing the meaning and interpretation of R^2; the coefficient of determination.  The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the Christmas song Frosty the Snowman written by Walter Rollins and Steve Nelson and popularized by Gene Autry’s 1950 recording. Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gdxJ0HhELg

     

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  • A song to be used in discussions about the meaning of the correlation coefficient (r) and r^2. The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo Texas and are a parody of the 1989 hip hop song "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. The song won an honorable mention in the 2017 A-mu-sing contest.
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  • A joke to help in recalling the purpose of Correlation and Regression. The joke was written in 2017 by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.
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  • A cartoon to be used in discussing correlation, spurious versus causal relationships, and the meaning of residuals (humorously depicting a relationship between residual over historical enrollment levels in grad school and residual levels in the unemployment rate). The cartoon is #1078 in the web comic Piled Higher and Deeper by Panamanian cartoonist Jorge Cham (1976- ): see www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1078. Free for use in classrooms and course websites with acknowledgement (i.e. "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham, www.phdcomics.com)
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  • A cartoon to be used in discussing density functions, scatterplots, and correlation. The plot is humorously labeled a density function – but is more readily interpreted as a scatterplot (in class discussions try to pin down how to interpret x and y). As a scatterplot, it shows a fairly clear (non-linear) association between x and y but would have a correlation of essentially zero. The cartoon is #1438 in the web comic Piled Higher and Deeper by Panamanian cartoonist Jorge Cham (1976- ): see www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1438. Free for use in classrooms and course websites with acknowledgement (i.e. "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham, www.phdcomics.com)
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  • A game to help students learn to visualize the relationship between a scatterplot and the associated correlation coefficient. The Correlation Guessing Game provides panels of four scatterplots and challenges you to match them with four potential values of Pearson's correlation. The game is offered by Wiley Publishing as an online supplement to the introductory statistics book by Prem Mann. The game is a Flash version of a popular game originally created in the 1990's by John Marden at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
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  • A quote to initiate a discussion of the fact that correlation does not imply a causal relationship (especially spurious correlations that happen by coincidence). The quote is by American novelist and poet Siri Hustvedt (1955 - ) from her 2011 novel The Summer Without Men.
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  • This webpage provides an active learning lesson for linear regression. Resources include an in-class student activity sheet for two different levels of classes (Algebra I and Junior), a PowerPoint showing faces of famous people, and sheet with updated (to the end of current year) actual ages of the celebrities.
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