Math 131            Projects 1-4       Each project is worth 2.5% of your final grade.            CSUDH

Elementary Statistics and Probability                                                                   Dr. Sally Moite


Format for projects

            Title, your name and the text of the report on the first page (no title page).

            No more than two pages, typed double spaced. No less than two paragraphs.

            Write your report in complete sentences and paragraphs.

            Answer as many of the questions below as possible in the text of your report.

            In your report give the source you use (newspaper, web site, book, etc.)

            Give the original source of any statistic, and/or the agency that collected it.

            Include, as noted below, photocopies or copies of key parts of your source.

            There should be no duplicate topics in the class.


Project 1 – Portrait of a statistic – Due Thursday Oct 3

            Choose one statistical variable with numerical values that are reported periodically (yearly or monthly, for example) – this is called a time series - to describe in detail. (An example of a time series is the ozone hole area table at the bottom of page 35.) What is your statistic called, what does it measure or represent (describe this carefully), how often is it reported, what level does it cover (world, U.S. or other country, state, local)? Some examples are world population, U.S. GDP, California divorce rate, L.A. county home prices, leading major league batting average. Where is the statistic originally published, what company, agency, department or person collects the data, how is the data collected, compiled or calculated? Describe the statistic’s trend over time, recent behavior and latest reported level. If you find the information, describe any changes in the definition of the statistic or collection method over time, why and for whom the information is collected and published, how accurate the data is. Include a copy of (no more than one page of) a table (not a graph) that gives values of your statistic. Statistical handbooks can be found in the school or local library. Many statistics are available online, from the UN, US and other sources.


Project 2 – A graph of a statistic – Due Thursday Oct 17

            Find a graph of statistical data in a newspaper, magazine or journal article or online news source. Carefully describe what data is presented. Does it come from a poll or survey, or from a census of a whole population? What type of graph (line graph, pie chart, bar chart, scatter plot) is used? Is the graph possibly misleading, for example, does any axis start from a number other than zero, or change scale? Give an example of how you read and interpret data from the graph by describing carefully and fully a point or a few points on the graph. What conclusion do you draw from the graph? Where did you find the graph? What information is given about the source of the data? Include a copy of the graph.


Project 3 – Two related statistics – Due Thursday Nov 12

            Find data on two related variables for some type of entity, for example, population and GNP by country, median income and average age by zip code, auto accident rate and speed limit by state (not by year or time period). (An example of such cross-section data is the airline table on page 101.) Select 15 of the entities (countries, zip codes, or states) and list the selected entities and pairs of data. In your report, include the name of your source of data, a short description of each of the two variables, and how you selected your data, along with your list of entities and data. Enter the 15 values of the two variables into a statistical or spreadsheet program, make an xy-plot (scatter plot) of the data, and attach it to your report. Use the statistical program or your calculator to find the correlation coefficient. Does there appear to be a linear relationship between the variables? Include a copy of one page of the original data you used for the report or two pages if the data appear in separate tables.


Project 4 – A Statistical Study – Due Tuesday Nov 21

            Find a study in a journal (possibly related to your major), magazine or newspaper that describes a statistical study in some detail. Give the source for this study. The study should give a confidence interval(s), statistical error estimate(s), or significance level(s) for data collected in the study. (The study should not be an exercise for a statistics class.) Briefly describe how the study was done and what person or group carried out and/or funded the study. (You may describe a part of a long article.) What variable was observed or measured? How large was the study group or sample? What population parameter, if any, was estimated? What conclusion was reached, and how was the accuracy of the conclusion described? What statistical test or technique was used? Include the article, or an abstract or summary for a long article (no more than three pages).