Graphical Displays

  • A song that may be used in discussing how to make and interpret box plots.  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 Irish folk song Michael Finnegan.

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  • This online software allows you to load data and make professional-looking graphs with it. Graph types are basic (scatterplot, line plot, bar charts, etc.), statistical (histograms, box plots), scientific (error bars, heat map, contour), 3D charts, and financial (e.g. time series). Other graphs are available with the paid pro version. Log in is required, which allows you to upload data and save it for next use.
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  • There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe. is a quote by American Science fiction writer Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988). The quote appears at the begiining of section 2 of his 1958 serialized novel "Have Space Suit - Will Travel".
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  • At their best, graphics are instruments for reasoning about quantitative information. is a quote by American statistician and political scientist Edward R. Tufte (1942 - ). The quote appears on page 9 of Tufte's 1983 book "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information".
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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about time series plots and changepoints. The cartoon is number 418 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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  • 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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  • A set of twenty statistics anagrams that might be used for an end of semester terminology review. This collection of anagrams appeared in the article "Even More Fun Learning Stats" by Lawrence M. Lesser in issue #49 (2007) of "Stats" magazine (pp.5-8,19, 27).
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  • This site provides numerous datasets for graphical display topics including linear, exponential, logistic, power rule, periodic, and other bivariate scatterplots, histograms, and other univariate data. Each data set is accompanied with a description, file format options, and a sample graph.
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  • PSPP is a statistical analysis program. It is an upwardly compatible replacement of the proprietary statistical analysis program called SPSS. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It interprets commands in the SPSS language and produces tabular output in ASCII, HTML, or PostScript format.
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  • The Caesar Shift is a translation of the alphabet; for example, a five-letter shift would code the letter a as f, b as g, ... z as e. We describe a five-step process for decoding an encrypted message. First, groups of size 4 construct a frequency table of the letters in two lines of a coded message. Second, students construct a bar chart for a reference message of the frequency of letters in the English language. Third, students create a bar chart of the coded message. Fourth, students visually compare the bar chart of the reference message (step 2) to the bar chart of the coded message (step 3). Based on this comparison, students hypothesize a shift. Fifth, students apply the shift to the coded message. After decoding the message, students are asked a series of questions that assess their ability to see patterns. The questions are geared for higher levels of cognitive reasoning. Key words: bar charts, Caesar Shift, encryption, testing hypotheses
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