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Design of Experiments

  • A cartoon to teach the idea that sampling variability depends on the size of the sample, and not on the size of the population (as long as the sample is a small part of the population). Cartoon drawn by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea from Dennis Pearl. Free to use in the classroom and for course websites.

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  • A cartoon to teach about the use of a placebo to better control experimental studies. Drawn by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea by Dennis Pearl. Free to use in the classroom or on course websites.

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  • A cartoon to teach about the need to think carefully about the assumptions underlying a statistical model (also uses the idea that you can multiply chances for independent events to find the chance that they all occur). Drawn by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea from Dennis earl. Free to use in the classroom and on course websites.

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  • A cartoon to teach about issues in designing a well-controlled experiment. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.

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  • The statistician who supposes that his main contribution to the planning of an experiment will involve statistical theory, finds repeatedly that he makes his most valuable contribution simply by persuading the investigator to explain why he wishes to do the experiment, by persuading him to justify the experimental treatments, and to explain why it is that the experiment, when completed, will assist him in his research. A quote from American statistician, and founder of the North Carolina State University Department of Statistics, Gertrude Cox (1900-1978). The quote is from a speech delivered at the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. on January 11th, 1950. The quote also appears in Chapter 1 of W.E. Deming's 1960 book "Sample Design in Business Research".

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  • For the biologist who doubts an old hypothesis or wishes to test out a new one, there is the biological laboratory. There, under conditions over which he can exercise the most rigid control, he can vary the light, the air, the food, which his plants or his animals receive, from the moment of birth throughout their lifetime. Keeping all the conditions but one constant, he can make accurate measurement of the effect of the one. This is the ideal method of science, the method of the controlled experiment, through which all hypotheses may be submitted to a strict objective test. ... Unfortunately such methods of experiment are denied to us when our materials are humanity and the whole fabric of a social order. This is a quote from American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978) from the introduction to the 1973 edition of her 1929 book "Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization".

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  • A cartoon to teach about one difficulty in conducting medical research compared to education research arising from problems in obtaining informed consent from subjects. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.

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  • Doubt is not an agreeable condition, but certainty is an absurd one, a quote by French Philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet (1694 - 1778), more commonly known by his pen name Voltaire. The quote appeared in a letter to Frederick II of Prussia in 1767.

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  • Hiawatha Designs an Experiment is a poem by English statistician Sir Maurice George Kendall (1907 - 1983). The poem can be used in teaching about the trade-off between reliability and bias found in many inference problems and in designing experiments and interpreting the results of an ANOVA. The poem was originally published in "The American Statistician" December, 1959.

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  • Experiment is the sole source of truth. It alone can teach us something new: it alone can give us certainty. A quote from French mathematician and physicist Jules Henri Poincare (1854 - 1912) found in "The Foundations of Science", page 127, The Science Press, 1913. The quote also appears in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.

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