Graphical Displays

  • A song that may be used in discussing how to describe the distribution seen in a histogram by providing the shape and using statistical measures of location, variability, and deviations from the overall pattern (outliers). 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 2011 pop song We Are Young, by the band Fun. Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkjlhdc5hlk

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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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  • A song to aid in teaching about time series plots and the three principal things to look for in them: long term trends, seasonal or other cyclic patterns, and random fluctuations. The song may to sung to the tune of "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King from her 1971 Tapestry album (and later popularized by James Taylor). The lyrics to the parody were written in 2017 by Dennis K Pearl from Penn State University and Lawrence M Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • A cartoon to be used for discussing the value of data visualizations. The cartoon was used in the August 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Barb Osyk from the University of Akron, while the drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. Other honorable mentions that rose to the top of the judging included "I told you exploded pie charts are dangerous!" written by Aaron Profitt from God’s Bible School and College; "Liar liar, data on fire," written by Mickey Dunlap from University of Tennessee at Martin: and "I warned you about using hot deck imputation when you have so much missing data!" written by Elizabeth Stasny, from The Ohio State University. (to use this cartoon with an alternate caption simply download and replace the caption using a bolded comic sans font)
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  • A cartoon to teach about the average and about positive versus negative skew. The cartoon was created by Diane L. Evans from Rose-Human Institute of Technology and won an honorable mention in the CAUSE 2013 A-Mu-sing contest.
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  • A cartoon to use in discussing the importance of indicating the variability associated with any prediction. The cartoon is the work of Theresa McCracken and appears as #5756 on McHumor.com (appearing here with a statistics-based caption change suggested by Dennis Pearl). Free for non-profit use in statistics course such as in lectures and course websites.
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  • Lest men suspect your tale untrue, Keep probability in view. is a quote by English poet and playwright John Gay (1685 - 1732). The quote is the first two lines of the poem "The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody," which is fable number 18 from the from the 1727 collection "Fables" volume 1.
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  • The song may be used to teach the importance of a good graphical display in presenting statistical data. May be sung to the tune of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (Eddie Schwartz, Pat Benatar, 1980). An earlier version appeared in Spring 2011 issue of Teaching Statistics. Lyrics by Lawrence Lesser, University of Texas at El Paso. version here introduced at the 2013 U.S. Conference On Teaching Statistics.
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  • I don't like the label big data", because that suggests the key measure is how many bits you have available to use. But who cares how much data you have? With too little data, you won't be able to make any conclusions that you trust. With loads of data you will find relationships that aren't real. ... Big data isn't about bits, it's about talent." This is a quote by ZestFinance.com CEO and former Google VP of Engineering Douglas Merrill (1970 -). The quote appeared in his May 1, 2012 blog at Forbes.com.
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  • A cartoon to help in teaching the importance of labeling the axes of a graph. The cartoon is number 833 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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