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Stat Lab - Liz Rasheed - 1 Introduction Statistics can be...

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1 Introduction: Statistics can be defined as the science of obtaining and analyzing quantitative data in order to make sound inferences in the face of uncertainty (O’Keefe, 2003). The application of statistics can be seen early in history with Babylonian population records and the Roman census (Brancroft, 2003). However, the scientific implications of statistics did not become widespread until much later in history. Today, statistical analysis is used in a broad spectrum of information, for things as everyday as “stats” on baseball records to issues as pressing as populations of endangered species and the deforestation rate that threatens them. During the Middle Ages, primitive statistical analysis was used in calculating the food, water, land, and money requirements to make war. The British Domesday Book, published in 1086 provided information on the British population, just as French records applied statistics to tax collection. Britain and France also led the way in the registration of deaths due to the Bubonic Plague and the fear it generated; it was not until that baptisms and marriages were registered (O’Keefe, 2003). A major contributor to scientific history, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with saying that only by the study of data from natural phenomena could man obtain knowledge of nature (O’Keefe, 2003). Statistics began to evolve rapidly as a science in 1853 when the Belgian astronomer Adolphe Quetelet organized the first International Stastistical Congress. Quetlet applied statistical analysis to social science in an attempt to determine the characteristics of the “average man” of society based on mean values with minimal error. Later in the 1800s, Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, a British statistician began investigating experimental designs; he and his colleagues developed methods for the analysis of variance and covariance (Bancroft, 2003). Many more complex advances have been made in the field of statistics since that time. Modern technology allows great opportunity for both data collection methods and analysis, especially due to the advancement of computer science. Technology increases both precision
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2 and accuracy in analysis and allows the application of statistics continues to grow in scope. Methods and Materials: I. Coin Toss In this experiment, Neil Wilson flipped a standard US quarter for our group as Shilpa Sreedharan recorded the data. Neil flipped the coin using the same procedure: starting with the quarter between his right thumb and index finger, then flipping it into the air, catching it with his right hand, and flipping it onto the back of his left hand to view whether it was heads or tails. He first flipped the quarter ten times, then one hundred times. In class, each of the three groups combined their 100-flip results to create a 300-flip data sample.
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