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November 1999, Volume 92, Issue 8


Titanic: A Statistical Exploration
Sandra Takis
The tremendously popular movie Titanic has rejuvenated interest in the Titanic and its passengers. Students are particularly captivated by the story and by the people involved. Consequently, when I was preparing to explore categorical data and the chisquare distribution with my class, I decided to use the available data about the Titanic’s passengers to interest students in these topics. The activities that I incorporated into my statistics class and gives additional resources for collecting information about the Titanic.

The Role of Technology in Introductory Statistics Classes
George Bratton
Giving today's students statistically capable technology, that is, computer software or a statistics-enhanced graphing calculator, can allow courses to reflect statistical practice. In such courses, students work individually or in small groups, plan and perform data collection, and rely on technology to perform the mathematics of data analysis. Such an approach allows emphasis on the conceptual basis of probability and data analysis.

Discuss with Your Colleagues: It's All in the Area
J. Lee
Examples and questions to help students understand the connection between the area under curves and samples, histograms, and various other indicators to which they have been exposed. The questions begin with the intuitive nature of empirical probabilities and progress from the frequencies to proportions, proportions to probabilities, and finally the ratio of areas in frequency charts to probabilities.

What Is Normal, Anyway?
Maria Calzada, Stephen Scariano
The Lilliefors test for normality has not been given the prominence it deserves in statistics education, perhaps because of its intensive reliance on graphics and numerical computation. Now that students have access to graphing calculators, the Lilliefors test for normality must become as important a tool as histograms and normal-quantile plots in exploratory data analysis.

Test Reliability
Kenneth Clark
This article explains and demonstrates a procedure that is commonly used to determine the reliability of a test in such a way that a person who has modest arithmetical skills can carry out the same analysis on a classroom test or examination. The article also presents issues that arise from this approach to assessing test quality.

German Tanks: A Problem in Estimation
David Flaspoher, Ann Dinkheller
Estimation is covered extensively in elementary statistics courses. The example discussed in this article describes a real-world situation and a simulation of that problem in which the selection of a suitable estimate is less apparent. This problem can be used at various levels. In a more elementary setting, the problem is useful to describe the concept of estimation. An advanced class can use the problem to discuss unbiasedness, minimum variance, and best estimates. At any level, the problem furnishes an excellent opportunity to make connections to the social studies curriculum and demonstrates an application of statistical techniques.

Using Simulation on the Internet to Teach Statistics
Vee Ng, Khoon Wong
Reflections about using simulation on the Internet to teach statistics. Because Internet resources keep appearing at a phenomenal rate, giving a comprehensive listing of all such resources within an article is impossible. The authors focus on a few ideas that are helpful for teaching and learning.

Cooperative Teaching Opportunities for Introductory Statistics Teachers
Deborah Rumsey
This article presents ideas based on our experiences; they can apply to a local or regional community of high school teachers or a department of college teachers.

Data Analysis and Baseball
Gary Talsma
An investigation that leads to one of the significant contributions that sabermetrics has made to our understanding of baseball. Along the way, we illustrate the application of several principles of data analysis (Moore 1995, 95) in a context that is familiar to, and motivating for, many of our students.


Reader Reflections
Reader Reflections - November 1999

Sharing Teaching Ideas
Sharing Teaching Ideas: The Double Stuf Dilemma

Activities (for students)
Discovering an Optimal Property of the Median

Calendar Problems
Calendar - November 1999

Media Clips
Media Clips - November 1999

Assessment Standards for School Mathematics
Secondary Students' Performance on Data and Chance in the 1996 NAEP

Technology /Technology Tips
Technology Tips - November 1999

For your Information/Products/Publications
For Your Information: Publications - November 1999