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Graphical Displays

  • 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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  • This website is compilation of data from sources such as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. You can generate maps and graphs to statistically compare and research Nations.

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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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  • This applet allows a person to add up to 50 points onto its green viewing screen. After each point is added by clicking on the screen with the mouse, a red line will appear. This red line represents a line passing through (Average x, Average y) with a slope that can be altered by clicking the Left or Right buttons. The slope of this line may also be changed by dragging the mouse either right or left. By clicking on Show Best Fit, a blue best fit line will be calculated by the computer.

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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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  • This activity is an advanced version of the "Keep your eyes on the ball" activity by Bereska, et al. (1999). Students should gain experience with differentiating between independent and dependent variables, using linear regression to describe the relationship between these variables, and drawing inference about the parameters of the population regression line. Each group of students collects data on the rebound heights of a ball dropped multiple times from each of several different heights. By plotting the data, students quickly recognize the linear relationship. After obtaining the least squares estimate of the population regression line, students can set confidence intervals or test hypotheses on the parameters. Predictions of rebound length can be made for new values of the drop height as well. Data from different groups can be used to test for equality of the intercepts and slopes. By focusing on a particular drop height and multiple types of balls, one can also introduce the concept of analysis of variance. Key words: Linear regression, independent variable, dependent variables, analysis of variance

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  • This program visualizes the effects of outliers to regression lines. The user may pick up a point with the mouse and move it across the chart. The resulting regression line is automatically adjusted after each movement, showing the effect in an immediate and impressive way. The program Leverage allows one to experiment with the leverage effect. You can create a random sample of data noisy points on a line. Dragging one of the points away from the regression line immediately shows the effect, as the regression line is recalculated and moves according to the current data set. Not online: user has to download the program.

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  • This site offers links to a multitude of data tables in PDF format. Topics include national trends in injury hospitalizations, trends in health and aging, summary health statistics for the U.S. population, trends in health insurance and access to medical care for children under age 19 years, and many more.
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