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Graphical Displays

  • Using cooperative learning methods, this activity helps students develop a better intuitive understanding of what is meant by variability in statistics. Emphasis is placed on the standard deviation as a measure of variability. This lesson also helps students to discover that the standard deviation is a measure of the density of values about the mean of a distribution. As such, students become more aware of how clusters, gaps, and extreme values affect the standard deviation.
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  • This applet demonstrates the Central Limit Theorem. First, select a distribution (Normal, Uniform, Skewed, Custom) and add or delete data points by clicking on the graph. Then, sample from the parent population and the distribution of the sample mean is shown. Users can also choose to see the distribution of the median, standard deviation, variance, and range.
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  • This applet demonstrates the Binomial distribution by simulating Galton's Board, dropping balls through a triangular array of nails. When a ball hits a nail, it has a 50 percent chance of falling to the left or the right. Because Galton's Board consists of a series of experiments, the piles under the board are the sum of n random variables, where n is the number of rows of nails on the board.
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  • This applet generates a histogram for two provided datasets, or by clicking "Edit Data", users can input their own data. Users can also manipulate the axes and bin width.
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  • This applet generates dotplots for different data sets and allows users to guess the location of various measures of center and spread. Clicking "Resample" produces a dotplot of random data generated by the applet. A dotplot of user-input data can be generated by clicking "Edit Data" and typing or copy and pasting the data in the textbox. To guess the mean, median, standard deviation, and interquartile range (IQR) users check the "Guess Mean/Median", "Guess Deviation", or "Guess IQR" box and slide the relevant marker along the horizontal axis. When "Guess Deviation" is selected, users can also select "Show Percentages" to display the percentage of data points within the user's current guess for standard deviation. Clicking "Show Actual" displays the actual position of the selected measure on the dotplot. Clicking on an individual data point shows its value. Users can edit the data under "Edit Data" or by clicking and dragging the data points on the graph.
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  • This section of an online textbook discusses calculating the exact probability using observed sets of frequencies, constructing frequency tables, and computing p-values. Exercises and answers are provided.
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  • The dataset presented in this article referes to game-by-game information for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during summer of 1998. This data can be used to demonstrate graphical displays, categorical data analysis, analysis of variance, logistic regression, and smoothing methods for Poisson and binomial data.
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  • This article describes a dataset of days in office of US Presidents with outliers that are not mistakes or unusually high or low observations. The data illustrate that outliers need not be errors but could be particularly interesting cases and that data displays may differ in their ability to reveal interesting data structure. Key Words: Inliers; Interpretation in context.
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  • This activity uses Microsoft Excel to estimate the population variance of grouped data two ways: the variance within a group and the variance between groups. This activity accompanies Section 7.3 of Data Matters.
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  • This is a collection of activities as Java applets that can be used to explore probability and statistics. Each activity is supplemented with background information, activity instructions, and a curriculum for the activity.
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