Category Archives: Descriptive statistics

Making sense of Powerball data

Collecting data on the Powerball lottery depends on one’s perspective. Of course, for anyone who purchased a ticket, the first set of data points would be the winning numbers – checking to see if the numbers on the ticket match … Continue reading

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Looking at Spread

In the previous post Two Statisticians in a Battlefield, we discussed the importance of reporting a spread in addition to an average when describing data. In this post we look at three specific notions of spread. They are measures that … Continue reading

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Two Statisticians in a Battlefield

Two soldiers, both statisticians, were fighting side by side in a battlefield. They spotted an enemy soldier and they both fired their rifles. One statistician soldier fired one foot to the left of the enemy soldier and the other statistician … Continue reading

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The Tax Return of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is currently a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for U.S. President. He recently, bowed to pressure from another presidential candidate in the Republican Party, had to release his past tax returns. The release of these tax … Continue reading

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What Are Helicopter Parents Up To?

We came across several interesting graphics about helicopter parents. These graphics give some indication as to what the so called helicopter parents are doing in terms of shepherding their children through the job search process. These graphics are the screen … Continue reading

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Another Look at LA Rainfall

In two previous posts, we examined the annual rainfall data in Los Angeles (see Looking at LA Rainfall Data and LA Rainfall Time Plot). The data we examined in these two post contain 132 years worth of annual rainfall data … Continue reading

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Is College Worth It?

Is college worth it? This was the question posed by the authors of the report called College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings, which was produced recently by The Center on Education and the Workforce. We do not plan on giving an … Continue reading

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Cryptography and Presidential Inaugural Speeches

Given a letter in English, how often does it appear in normal usage of the English language? Some letters appear more often than others. For example, the last letter Z is not common. The vowels are very common because they … Continue reading

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Comparing Growth Charts

Suppose both an 8-year old boy and a 10-year old boy are 54 inches tall (four feet six inches). Physically they are of the same heights. But a better way to compare is to find out where each boy stands … Continue reading

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A Student’s View of the Normal Distribution

In my teaching, I always strive to encourage students to look at statistics from a practical point of view. In a recent class period covering the normal distribution, I indicated that data values more than 3 standard deviations away from … Continue reading

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