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One Numerical Variable

  • 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 joke written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso to highlight the difference between concepts of central tendency and variation.
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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 be used for discussing z-scores. The cartoon was used in the September 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Amy Nowacki from Cleveland Clinic/Case Western Reserve University, while the drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. A second winning caption "Even a crash course in model-fitting will need to consider distributions other than normal," was by Eugenie Jackson, a student at University of Wyoming, is well-suited for starting a conversation about the normality assumption in statistical models.(see "Cartoon: Pile-UP I") Honorable mentions that rose to the top of the judging in the September caption contest included "Big pile-up at percentile marker -1.96 on the bell-curve. You might want to take the chi-square curve to avoid these negative values," written by Mickey Dunlap from University of Tennessee at Martin; "Call the nonparametric team! This is not normal!” written by Semra Kilic-Bahi of Colby-Sawyer College; "I assumed the driving conditions today would be normal!" written by John Vogt of Newman University; and "CAUTION: Z- values seem smaller than they appear. Slow down & watch for stopped traffic reading these values,” written by Kevin Schirra, a student at University of Akron.
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  • A song about the use of the range to measure variation. The song may be sung to the tune of "Home on the range" the classic western song based on a poem by Brewster Higley of Smith county Kansas published in 1873 and music by Texas composer David Guion. The lyrics for this parody were written by Professor Lawrence Lesser of The University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • A joke that can be used in discussing standard scores (e.g. the age of the longest lived horse was about 9 standard deviations above the average lifespan) and how they are a unites measurement. The joke was written by Dennis K. Pearl from Penn State University.
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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 cartoon to be used for discussing how outliers can have an influential effect on statistics. The cartoon was used in the June 2016 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. The winning caption was submitted by Albert Koenig, a student at Belgrade High School. The drawing was created by John Landers using an idea from Dennis Pearl. Other ideas for using this cartoon in teaching include focusing on assumptions (do we really know the team with the tallest player is ahead?); the selection of the best measure to summarize data (mean, median, or maximum in this case); or on the importance of variability in understanding data.
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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 video to teach about the central limit theorem and various issues in one-sample hypothesis testing. The lyrics and video were created by Scott Crawford from the University of Wyoming. The music is from the 1988 song "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)" by the Scottish band The Proclaimers. The video took second place in the video category of the 2013 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. Free for non-profit use in classroom and course website applications.
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