Sunday, January 13, 2008

Homework 1 has been assigned

In case you didn't get it, homework #1 (due next Thursday) consists of the following exercises from the book:
1) 3.27 a, b and c
2) 3.35
3) 3.43
4) 3.61
5) 3.69
6) 4.11
7) 4.15

While we must maintain strict academic integrity, questions on the homework can be posted to comments. I'm moderating comments and I won't let anything through that would be questionable.

That said, I don't think there's any issue of integrity in explaining how to use Minitab or Excel to calculate the statistics, which may be a sticky point for first-time users. After all, it's a class in statistics, not in how to use the tools, right? Feel free to email me directly also.

2 comments:

lowkeydad said...

so... the directions weren't too clear, but are we supposed to use minitab or excel to solve all of the homework problems? Or are we only supposed to supplement our work with the graphs that minitab provides? I'm thinking we won't get too much out of the homework if we just let minitab do the work for us... Though Cemil really didn't specify from what I could hear (which admittedly wasn't much in the back of the room) :)

Ben

Eliezer said...

It appears that letting Minitab/Excel do the work is sufficient. Notice that several of the questions also ask for some interpretation of the data - which you can't get from Minitab/Excel.

I suppose there was a time when creating a graph or table with Excel didn't feel right because everyone did those things by hand. Nowadays, I don't think anyone even thinks about graphing by hand. Same thing is happening with calculating statistics like std dev, correlation coefficient, etc.

But I agree that it doesn't indicate any real knowledge of the formulas behind the statistics. But we're just getting started here. I think that as we get into more advanced topics the real challenge will be in understanding which statistic to apply and how to apply it to a given situation. Knowing the precise formulas and making the manual calculations is really going to become a trivial aspect.

I've asked Cemil for clarification via email and will blog his response when I get it.