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some suggestions for improved statistic instruction

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Jason Samuels

CUNY-BMCC AMATYC 39, 2013-11-2

After years of Algebra courses, Statistics requires a very

Some steps require a formula

p(1 p) n

x1 x2

12

n1

22

n2

p1 p2 p1 (1 p1 ) p2 (1 p2 ) n1 n2

wait, what?

Doing calculations with standard data distributions Find the data value, z-score, probability Normal distribution, t-distribution, etc. Confidence Intervals Hypothesis tests

Orients the students toward the values they will use in

Describe the distribution of the data: Center (mean) Spread (standard deviation) Shape (which distribution: normal, t, etc.)

Ex) A college has an average of 23.7 students in each

class, with a standard deviation of 5.6. What is the probability that a sample of 35 classes has an average of more than 25 students?

Get the facts: =23.7 =5.6 n=35 want P( x > 25) Describe the distribution of x Mean: x 23.7 5.6 0.95 Standard deviation: x 35 Shape: n>30 so its normal

All values can be organized and connected using one

graph:

From before Get the facts: =23.7 =5.6 n=35 want P( x > 25) Describe the distribution of x: x 23.7 x 0.95 normal Now draw the graph:

23.7

25

Almost every calculation

There is only one formula students need to know:

Or, equivalently:

data value = (mean)+(test statistic)(standard deviation)

x

or x z

...or... x

x

p p

p

z ...or... p p p

Benefit

Students learn that z has one meaning the number of standard deviations from the mean so z has one formula Never again will students use these varied, complex formulas:

z x

x1 x2

z

2

n1

p p p (1 p ) n

n2

p1 p2 p1 (1 p1 ) p2 (1 p2 ) n1 n2

From before Get the facts:

=23.7 =5.6 n=35 want P( x > 25)

35

z x x

Probability

Get the facts: =23.7 =5.6 n=35 want P(x > 25) Describe the distribution of x : x 23.7 x 0.95 normal Now, fill in the graph following the flowchart: In this case, we go up the ladder

Probability

.9147 .0853 1.37

The mean time for all flight delays is 21 minutes with a

standard deviation of 12 minutes. What is the probability that a sample of 36 flights has a delay average above 26 minutes?

Step 1: get the facts

=21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26)

(1) Get the facts: =21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26) (2) Describe the distribution: (3) Draw the graph:

Step 2: describe the distribution

Center:

mean x =21

Spread:

(1) Get the facts: =21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26) (2) Describe the distribution: x = 21 x =2 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

standard deviation 12 12 x 2

Shape:

n 36 6

(5) Conclusion:

Step 3: Draw the graph

(1) Get the facts: =21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26) (2) Describe the distribution: x = 21 x =2 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

Step 4: Do the calculations z-score:

z x x

(1) Get the facts: =21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26) (2) Describe the distribution: x = 21 x =2 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

26 21 2.5 2

Areas: using technology area to the left = .9937 area to the right = .0063

2.5

Step 5: Write the conclusion The probability is .0063

(1) Get the facts: =21 =12 n=36 find P( x >26) (2) Describe the distribution: x = 21 x =2 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

(4) Do the calculations: z = 2.5 area=.9937 & .0063 (5) Conclusion: The probability is .0063

Ex) for United, the mean delay time is 18 minutes,

st.dev.=11 minutes. For Delta, the mean delay time is 22 minutes, st.dev.=14 minutes. Find the probability that, for a sample of 32 United flights and 34 Delta flights, Delta has a higher mean delay time by over 2 minutes.

Step 1: Get the facts Delta: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 United: 2=18 2=11 n2=32 Find P( x1 x 2 >2)

(1) Get the facts: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 2=18 2=11 n2=32 find P( x 2 x1 >2) (2) Describe the distribution: (3) Draw the graph:

Step 2: Describe the distribution

Center

Mean

x x 1 2

1 2

=22-18=4

Spread

(1) Get the facts: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 2=18 2=11 n2=32 find P( x 2 x1 >2) (2) Describe the distribution: x1 x2 4 x1x2 3.090 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

Standard deviation

x x

1

(1)2 ( 2 )2 or ( x1 )2 ( x2 )2 n1 n2

14 2 112 3.09 34 32

Shape

Step 3: Draw the graph

(1) Get the facts: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 2=18 2=11 n2=32 find P( x 2 x1 >2) (2) Describe the distribution: x1 x2 4 x1x2 3.090 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

Step 4: Do the calculations

z-score:

24 z 0.65 3.09

(1) Get the facts: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 2=18 2=11 n2=32 find P( x 2 x1 >2) (2) Describe the distribution: x1 x2 4 x1x2 3.090 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

-0.65

(4) Do the calculations: z = -0.65 areas: .2587 & .7413 (5) Conclusion:

Step 5: Write the conclusion The probability is .7413

(1) Get the facts: 1=22 1=14 n1=34 2=18 2=11 n2=32 find P( x 2 x1 >2) (2) Describe the distribution: x1 x2 4 x1x2 3.090 Normal (3) Draw the graph:

(4) Do the calculations: z = -0.65 areas: .2587 & .7413 (5) Conclusion: The probability is .7413

A Handy Tool

StatDisk Does all basic statistics calculations with a simple graphical interface and one or two clicks Available for free at StatDisk.org

First students learn that they know , this defines the

center of the distribution, and x (the value from the data) exists relative to that x Later, also and p In the case of inference confidence intervals and hypothesis tests (or p) is not known. Rather, we know x (or p ) and make an inference about (or p). What does this mean for the distribution, and the graph?

Confidence Interval Formula: ( x z , x z ) x x What does this imply for the graph?

x z x

x z x

The center is x , not ! We are calculating values for , not x With confidence intervals we just use the formula and ignore it With hypothesis tests, the issue does not go away

Hypothesis Test Old way:

and you spend all this time explaining why, even though the hypothesis says > o you shade to the right of x (and I think students still dont understand, they just do it)

Hypothesis Test New way:

and now you shade where the claim tells you to shade, and that area is your confidence level

Shaded area matches the claim Hypothesis tests and confidence intervals are both

inferences about the population, and they should agree (in terms of the graph, distribution, etc.)

We are using a distribution of values for The center is

What does confidence mean? Its a type of probabilistic statement 95% of the time, a conclusion made in this way will be correct

Ex) We want to find out if the average American family

has more than 1.8 kids (because that places a strain on municipal services). From a survey of 500 families, the mean is 1.92 (take =0.9). What can we conclude?

Step 1: Get the facts

(1) Get the facts: x =1.92 =0.9 n=500 test claim: > 1.8 (2) Describe the distribution: (3) Draw the graph:

claim: > 1.8

Step 2: describe the distribution of

Center: mean=1.92 Spread:

st.dev.

(1) Get the facts: x =1.92 =0.9 n=500 test claim: > 1.8 (2) Describe the distribution: mean=1.92 stdev=.0402 normal (3) Draw the graph:

Step 3: Draw the graph

(1) Get the facts: x =1.92 =0.9 n=500 test claim: > 1.8 (2) Describe the distribution: mean=1.92 stdev=.0402 normal (3) Draw the graph:

Step 4: Do the calculations

1.8 1.92 z 2.99 .0402

(1) Get the facts: x =1.92 =0.9 n=500 test claim: > 1.8 (2) Describe the distribution: mean=1.92 stdev=.0402 normal (3) Draw the graph:

-2.99

(4) Do the calculations: z = 2.99 areas: .0014 & .9986 (5) Conclusion:

Step 5: Write the conclusion We are .9986 confident in the claim that > 1.8 (the

(1) Get the facts: x =1.92 =0.9 n=500 test claim: > 1.8 (2) Describe the distribution: mean=1.92 stdev=.0402 normal (3) Draw the graph:

(4) Do the calculations: z=-2.99 areas .0014 & .9986 (5) Conclusion: We have .9986 confidence that > 1.8

Big Changes

All the formulas for the test statistic flip For means

0 x

s.d .

p0 p z s.d .

(just solve for 0) so we already used them without knowing it The formulas for x & z (given population info) were inverses; Now the formulas for and z from inference (confidence intervals & hypothesis tests) are inverses as they should be

Jason Samuels

jsamuels@bmcc.cuny.edu

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