This site contains links to and descriptions of over 600 applets that can be used for demonstrations or analysis of topics commonly covered in introductory statistics courses.
This site contains links to and descriptions of over 600 applets that can be used for demonstrations or analysis of topics commonly covered in introductory statistics courses.
Students explore the definition and interpretations of the probability of an event by investigating the long run proportion of times a sum of 8 is obtained when two balanced dice are rolled repeatedly. Making use of hand calculations, computer simulations, and descriptive techniques, students encounter the laws of large numbers in a familiar setting. By working through the exercises, students will gain a deeper understanding of the qualitative and quantitative relationships between theoretical probability and long run relative frequency. Particularly, students investigate the proximity of the relative frequency of an event to its probability and conclude, from data, the order on which the dispersion of the relative frequency diminishes. Key words: probability, law of large numbers, simulation, estimation
Includes project file for Minitab and coding for a dice rolling simulation.
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
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
The activity is designed to help students develop a better intuitive understanding of what is meant by variability in statistics. Emphasis is placed on the standard deviation as a measure of variability. As they learn about the standard deviation, many students focus on the variability of bar heights in a histogram when asked to compare the variability of two distributions. For these students, variability refers to the "variation" in bar heights. Other students may focus only on the range of values, or the number of bars in a histogram, and conclude that two distributions are identical in variability even when it is clearly not the case. This activity can help students discover that the standard deviation is a measure of the density of values about the mean of a distribution and to become more aware of how clusters, gaps, and extreme values affect the standard deviation. Key words: Variability, standard deviation
This webpage provides an extensive list of links to free statistical calculators and statistical software packages. Descriptions are provided for some of the resources.
This online, interactive lesson on finite sampling models provides examples, exercises, and applets that include hypergeometric distribution, multivariate hypergeometric distribution, order statistics, the matching problem, the birthday problem, and the coupon collector problem.
This online, interactive lesson on the renewal processes provides examples, exercises, and applets which include renewal equations and renewal limit theorems.