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Measures of Spread

  • These pages explain the following basic statistics concepts: mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation and correlation coefficient (with example from the Institute on Climate and Planets).

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  • This website provides a comprehensive overview of descriptive statistics (mean/median/mode, range, standard deviation, and variance) through informative webpages with examples, links to data sets, and problems for the readers to try for themselves.

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  • A song for use in helping students to recognize how a change in units affects the variance (since variance is expressed in squared units).  Music & Lyrics by Tom Toce, ©2015 Retrograde Music.  This song is part of an NSF-funded library of interactive songs that involved students creating responses to prompts that are then included in the lyrics (see www.causeweb.org/smiles for the interactive version of the song, a short reading covering the topic, and an assessment item).

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  • A song to be used in discussing how the mean and standard deviation work well in describing symmetric distributions while the median and IQR are valuable when you need more resistant measures for skewed distributions. 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 “Faithfully,” the 1983 ballad by the band Journey. Also, an accompanying video may be found at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8lry78zBWE See also the companion song “Which Measure and Spread to Use” also written by Mary McLellan with the same learning objective.

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  • A song to be used in discussing how the mean and standard deviation work well in describing symmetric distributions while the median and IQR are valuable when you need more resistant measures for skewed distributions. 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 1976 pop song “Dancing Queen,” by ABBA. Also, an accompanying video may be found at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5-wg3OYUIE See also the companion song “Which Measure Should I Choose” also written by Mary McLellan with the same learning objective.

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  • A quote to aid in discussing the foundational idea in statistics of the importance of understanding the nature of uncertainty. The quote is by Israeli-American educator, computer scientist, and co-founder of the Coursera online platform Daphne Koller (1968 - ). The quote is found in the May 3, 2008 New York Times story on Dr. Koller.
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  • This complete lesson plan, which includes assessments, is based upon a data set partially discussed in the article "Female Hurricanes are Deadlier than Male Hurricanes." The data set contains archival data on actual fatalities caused by hurricanes in the United States between 1950 and 2012. Students analyze and explore this hurricane data in order to formulate a question, design and implement a plan to collect data, analyze the data by measures and graphs, and interpret the results in the context of the original question.
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  • A song for teaching concepts of estimating a population mean and addressing uncertainty in the estimate. The lyrics were written by Lawrence Mark Lesser from University of Texas at El Paso as a parody of the 2011 song "Call Me Maybe" written by Carly Rae Jepsen, Tavish Crowe, and Josh Ramsay). The lyrics were awarded second prize in the 2013 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. Free for non-profit educational use. Musical accompaniment realization are by Joshua Lintz and vocals are by Mariana Sandoval from University of Texas at El Paso.

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  • Who says a statistics teacher can't play a `mean` guitar ... with X-barre chords? Quote by University of Texas at El Paso professor of Mathematical Sciences, Lawrence Mark Lesser (1964-)

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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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