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Welcome to Statistics!
NOTE: Many of these files are available only through a computer and NOT through your cell phone, including SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS! DUE by Aug. 11, 2023!
(continue to read & scroll down for Summer Work...)
Statistics is the study of data. It is a branch of mathematics that deals with how to gather, organize, and interpret data.
There are two main goals of this class:
(1) Primarily this class will help you explore statistical ideas that will enable you to make sense of data in the news, at school (for MST, with science fair), and in your future careers.
(2) Along with this primary goal, this class will prepare you for the Statistics AP Exam, which occurs in May.
AP Statistics Syllabus: PDF Student Copy (NEW)
Prerequisite: You should have already completed Advanced Algebra 2, or MST Algebra 2 (and earned at least a "B") prior to taking this course. If you are taking this class as a sophomore, you must be prepared to use ideas from probability, including permutations, combinations, and the binomial theorem.
Topics you should know: Math Foundations for Success Document link
Challenges of Statistics - Why do some (or many?) students fear statistics or dislike learning statistics? Here is a nice synopsis from a professor, Dr. Nic Petty, who presents
10 reasons why this occurs, and solutions to overcome it.
Video Link: Why people hate statistics - with Dr. Nic
Summer Work (for students taking AP Stats, listed in order of importance):
Summer Work Part A
Please read Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 from the textbook:
Chapter 1 PDF Part 1 Copy HERE
Chapter 1 PDF Part 2 Copy HERE.
Chapter 2 PDF Copy HERE
Chapter 2 (part 2) PDF Copy HERE
Summer Work Part B
1. The Checklist by Atul Gawande: Article from the New Yorker Magazine (2007)
2. Counting on Dyscalculia by John Allen Paulos, Article from Discover Magazine, 199x
Summer Work Part C
Finally, please watch this Tedx video by
Alan Smith: Why you should LOVE statistics
This assignment should be completed by the end of the first week of school (Friday, August 12th). You should anticipate a quiz over this material before the end of the first full week of school.
Copy of Vocabulary terms you need to know from this material for our first assessment: Stats Terms
Link: Statistics and Probability Dictionary
Begin with these terms
25 Common Words with Precise Statistical Meanings:
Monthly Calendars (last year's-updates soon..!)
AP Statisitcs Textbook
Peck, Olsen & Devore (5th Edition)
PDF Link to 5th Edition
The Practice of Statistics, 5th Ed.
by Starnes, Tabor, Yates, & Moore (you can ask for a link to pdf copy)
The Importance of Communication in AP Statistics
Statistics differs from mathematics in a number of fundamental ways. The primary purpose of statistics is to provide analysts and researchers with methods for collecting data in a reasonable way and for making sense out of that data. As such, context is critical to statistics and helps distinguish it from mathematics. Although data are often numerical, authors George Cobb and David Moore remind us that "data are not just numbers, they are numbers with a context."
Cobb and Moore also state:
Although mathematicians often rely on applied context both for motivation and as a source of problems for research, the ultimate focus in mathematical thinking is on abstract patterns: the context is part of the irrelevant detail that must be boiled off over the flame of abstraction in order to reveal the previously hidden crystal of pure structure. In mathematics, context obscures structure. Like mathematicians, data analysts also look for patterns, but ultimately, in data analysis, whether the patterns have meaning, and whether they have any value, depends on how the threads of those patterns interweave with the complementary threads of the story line. In data analysis, context provides meaning.
This difference is the main reason that communication is such an important aspect of statistics problems. In statistics, meaning comes from context, and the interpretation of the analysis in context is the ultimate desired outcome of analyzing data.
Cobb, George W. and David S. Moore. "Mathematics, Statistics, and Teaching." American Mathematics Monthly (1997): 104, 801-823. Watkins, Ann, Rosemary Roberts, Chris Olsen, and Richard Scheaffer. Teacher's Guide for AP Statistics. The College Board®, 1997.
See the AP Central LINK
The Trouble with Inferential Statistics
I don't necessarily understand a "p-value"...and neither do most other people!
Check it out: Interviews trying to understand what a p-value means