1
STA2023 – Beginning Terminology
Statistics is the science of collecting
, organizing
, analyzing
, and interpreting
data
** Tables are commonly used to organize some data
** Graphs & Numerical Calculations are commonly used to analyze some data
** Drawing conclusions (understanding what the data analysis tells us) is a key component
The foremost goal of this course is that you develop an awareness of data and an ability to do each of the
above at an introductory level.
In addition to learning methods of statistical analysis, you will develop a
critical eye toward data (how was the data collected? is it unbiased? what do the results tell us? etc.)
Introductory Definitions (not in chapter 1 of the book, but should be!)
A population
is the set of all individuals (or things) of interest to a study
A sample
is a subset of the entire population of interest
A statistic
is a number calculated from sample data (
_
^
,
,
y
s
p
)
A parameter
is a number that describes a population (
,
,
p
μ σ
)
Note that the only way to know the exact value of a parameter is to collect data from the entire
population of interest – which is usually very costly and often impossible.
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 Spring '08
 Ripol
 Statistics, Statistical Study

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