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notes515fall10chap1-2 - STAT 515 STATISTICAL METHODS...

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STAT 515 --- STATISTICAL METHODS Statistics : The science of using data to make decisions and draw conclusions Two branches : Descriptive Statistics : The collection and presentation (through graphical and numerical methods) of data Tries to look for patterns in data, summarize information Inferential Statistics : Drawing conclusions about a large set of individuals based on data gathered on a smaller set Example: Some Definitions Population : The complete collection of units (individuals or objects) of interest in a study Variable : A characteristic of an individual that we can measure or observe Examples:
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Sample : A (smaller) subset of individuals chosen from the population In statistical inference, we use sample data (the values of the variables for the sampled individuals) to make some conclusion (e.g., an estimate or prediction) about the population. Example: How reliable is this generalization to the population? For inference to be useful, we need some genuine measure of its reliability. Types of Data : Quantitative (Numerical) Data : Measurements recorded on a natural numerical scale (can perform mathematical operations on data).
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