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Outliers

  • A cartoon useful in applied probability courses to discuss the nature of actuarial work and the importance of accounting for rare events.The cartoon was used in the April, 2018 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.  An alternative caption that was a co-winner in that month’s contest was "Open your eyes to catch the significant events occurring at the tails," submitted by Debmalya Nandy, a graduate student at Penn State University. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

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  • A cartoon that can be used in discussing the effect of outliers – especially on significance testing. The cartoon was used in the April, 2018 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was submitted by Debmalya Nandy, a graduate student at Penn State University.  An alternative caption that was a co-winner in that month’s contest was "Actuaries write umbrella policies to cover freak accidents" written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

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  • A cartoon that can be a vehicle to discuss how interesting discoveries are often made by investigating outliers.The cartoon was used in the March 2018 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Jim Alloway from EMSQ Associates. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

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  • Which is more robust against outliers: mean or median?  This app demonstrates the (in)stability of these descriptive statistics as the value of an outlier and the number of data points change.

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  • The app allows you to see the trade-offs on various types of outlier/anomaly detection algorithms. Outliers are marked with a star and cluster centers with an X.

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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 sketch by Anastasia Mandel reinterpreting Cattle by a Lake by Sidney Richard Percy (1862) with the statistical caption "A multimodal distribution with small outliers." This is part of a collection of sketches by Anastasia Mandel and their accompanying statistical captions discussed in the paper "How art helps to understand statistics" (Model Assisted Statistics and Applications, 2009) by Stan Lipovetsky and Igor Mandel in volume 4 pages 313-324. Free to use in classrooms and on course websites.

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  • A cartoon suitable for a course website that makes use of a boxplot to display an outlier and also uses the term "statistically significant" in its punch line. The cartoon is number 539 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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  • 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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  • A cartoon to accompany a discussion of outliers and their posible underlying causes. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.
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