# lab 1 - EXERCISE 1 Name How do scientists collect and...

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Exercise 1 Austin Community College/BIO 1406 Laboratory Manual 12 th Ed./Copyright 2006 1-1 EXERCISE 1 Name How do scientists collect and analyze data? Objectives After completing this exercise, you should be able to: identify the names and functions of the laboratory items on display in the lab explain what a random variable is, and distinguish between discrete and continuous random variables use SI units when making measurements in lab convert between different SI units use the correct number of significant digits when reporting a measurement identify the number of significant digits in a reported measurement choose an appropriate measuring device when measuring distance, weight, or volume; and use it correctly use the correct number of significant digits when reporting computed values display data in a well-organized and clearly labeled data table use a calculator to calculate the mean, percent error of the mean, and standard deviation of a list of measurements; and explain what these statistics tell us use the appropriate statistics to compare the precision and accuracy of different measuring devices explain what the Student’s t-test is used for, and how to interpret the results use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to calculate the mean, percent error of the mean, and standard deviation of list of measurements use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to carry out the Student’s t-test Prelab Before you come to lab, read this entire exercise. You must also answer all questions and complete all assignments on the first 14 pages of this exercise. Your instructor will give you directions on when and where to turn in your work. Scientific investigation is based on observations . Observations refer to any information we collect about the physical universe using our senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.) The factors or conditions being observed are called random variables (or experimental variables) because our observations of them can vary from one trial to the next. A random variable can be either discrete or continuous . For example: 1. A coin is tossed ten times. The random variable X is defined as the number of tails that occur. Because X can only take certain values (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ….10) it is a discrete random variable . 2. The length of a sheet of paper is measured. The random variable Y is defined as its length in centimeters. Because Y can take any positive real value, it is a continuous random variable . Your Turn Give an example of a discrete random variable: _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Give an example of a continuous random variable: ___________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

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Exercise 1 Austin Community College/BIO 1406 Laboratory Manual 12 th Ed./Copyright 2006 1-2 A major advance in science occurred when scientists realized the advantage of describing observations of
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## This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course BIOL 1406 taught by Professor Bostic during the Summer '09 term at Austin Community College.

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lab 1 - EXERCISE 1 Name How do scientists collect and...

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