Density of Rocks - Some Applications
In this activity students study some applications of knowing the density of rocks. One set of applications involves the stress, strength, and factor of safety for a rock roof resting on one or more columns in an underground room. A second set of applications involves the normal and shear stresses, cohesion force, and inclination angle for a slab of rock resting on an inclined surface. Students recreate spreadsheets shown in a Powerpoint module with formulas that answer various pieces of an overa
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Density of Rocks - How Large Is a Ton of Rock?
This module addresses how to determine the size of a ton of rock of a given composition and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem. Students recreate spreadsheets, shown in a Powerpoint module, on their own with formulas that answer various pieces of the overall question. This module is the third in a series of six that examine the density of planets and rocks, and was designed for an undergraduate class where students look at geological questions mathematically and may spend
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Stratigraphic Framework of Lower and Upper Cretaceous Rocks in Central and Eastern Montana
This USGS report focuses on Cretaceous rocks in Montana with respect to natural gas and coalbed methane. The study includes the stratigraphy from the top of the Mowry Shale to the base of the Judith River Formation. The project integrates geologic, structural, hydrologic and engineering studies with known and new geochemical data on the gas and co-produced water. The report also facilitates an understanding of the controls on the spatial distribution of potential gas accumulations. Figures, tabl
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The Star-Spangled Banner
Students will be able to cite the origins and outcome of the War of 1812 and be able to place the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner in a chronological framework.
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Rising NORD-STAR
Climate change scientist Michael Goodsite, a 2008 graduate of Thunderbird School of Global Management, talks Oct. 22, 2010. http://www.thunderbird.edu
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Star Library: What is the Shelf Life?
The Food and Drug Administration requires pharmaceutical companies to establish a shelf life for all new drug products through a stability analysis. This is done to ensure the quality of the drug taken by an individual is within established levels. The purpose of this out-of-class project or in-class example is to determine the shelf life of a new drug. This is done through using simple linear regression models and correctly interpreting confidence and prediction intervals. An Excel spreadsheet
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Star Library: Random Rendezvous
This activity leads students to appreciate the usefulness of simulations for approximating probabilities. It also provides them with experience calculating probabilities based on geometric arguments and using the bivariate normal distribution. We have used it in courses in probability and mathematical statistics, as well as in an introductory statistics course at the post-calculus level.
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Star Library: What is the Significance of a Kiss?
This article describes an interactive activity illustrating general properties of hypothesis testing and hypothesis tests for proportions. Students generate, collect, and analyze data. Through simulation, students explore hypothesis testing concepts. Concepts illustrated are: interpretation of p-values, type I error rate, type II error rate, power, and the relationship between type I and type II error rates and power. This activity is appropriate for use in an introductory college or high school
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Star Library: Rectangularity
This article describes an interactive activity illustrating sampling distributions for means, properties of confidence intervals, properties of hypothesis testing, confidence intervals for means, and hypothesis tests for means. Students generate and analyze data and through simulation explore these concepts. The activity is completed in three parts. The three parts of the activity can be used in sequence or they can be used individually as “stand alone” activities. This allows the educator f
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Star Library: An Unusual Episode
Dawson (1995) presented a data set giving a population at risk and fatalities for an “unusual episode” (the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic) and discussed the use of the data set in a first statistics course as an elementary exercise in statistical thinking, the goal being to deduce the origin of the data. Simonoff (1997) discussed the use of this data set in a second statistics course to illustrate logistic regression. Moore (2000) used an abbreviated form of the data set in a chapter ex
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Star Library: Which Paper Towel is More Absorbent?
This group activity focuses on conducting an experiment to determine which of two brands of paper towels are more absorbent by measuring the amount of water absorbed. A two-sample t-test can be used to analyze the data, or simple graphics and descriptive statistics can be used as an exploratory analysis. Students are asked to think about design issues, and to write a short report stating their results and conclusions, along with an evaluation of the experimental design.
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Star Library: Regression - Residuals - Why?
As teachers of statistics, we know that residual plots and other diagnostics are important to deciding whether or not linear regression is appropriate for a set of data. Despite talking with our students about this, many students might believe that if the correlation coefficient is strong enough, these diagnostic checks are not important. The data set included in this activity was created to lure students into a situation that looks on the surface to be appropriate for the use of linear regressi
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Star Library: The Role of Probability in Discrimination Cases
An important objective in hiring is to ensure diversity in the workforce. The race or gender of individuals hired by an organization should reflect the race or gender of the applicant pool. If certain groups are under-represented or over-represented among the employees, then there may be a case for discrimination in hiring. On the other hand, there may be a number of random factors unrelated to discrimination, such as the timing of the interview or competition from other employers, that might ca
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Star Library: Counting Eights: A First Activity in the Study and Interpretation of Probability
Students explore the definition and interpretations of the probability of an event by investigating the long run proportion of times a sum of 8 is obtained when two balanced dice are rolled repeatedly. Making use of hand calculations, computer simulations, and descriptive techniques, students encounter the laws of large numbers in a familiar setting. By working through the exercises, students will gain a deeper understanding of the qualitative and quantitative relationships between theoretical p
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Star Library: Histogram Sorting
This activity provides students with 24 histograms representing distributions with differing shapes and characteristics. By sorting the histograms into piles that seem to go together, and by describing those piles, students develop awareness of the different versions of particular shapes (e.g., different types of skewed distributions, or different types of normal distributions), that not all histograms are easy to classify, that there is a difference between models (normal, uniform) and characte
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Star Library: Breaking the Code - A Graphical Exploration Using Bar Charts
The activity begins with an explanation of the Caesar Shift for message encryption (Singh, 1999). The Caesar Shift is a translation of the alphabet; for example, a five-letter shift would code the letter a as f, b as g, … z as e. We describe a five-step process for decoding an encrypted message. First, groups of size 4 construct a frequency table of the letters in two lines of a coded message. Second, students construct a bar chart for a reference message of the frequency of letters in the Eng
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Star Library: What Makes the Standard Deviation Larger or Smaller?
The activity is designed to help students develop a better intuitive understanding of what is meant by variability in statistics. Emphasis is placed on the standard deviation as a measure of variability. As they learn about the standard deviation, many students focus on the variability of bar heights in a histogram when asked to compare the variability of two distributions. For these students, variability refers to the “variation” in bar heights. Other students may focus only on the range of
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Star Library: Regression on the Rebound
This activity is an advanced version of the “Keep your eyes on the ball” activity by Bereska, et al. (1999). Students should gain experience with differentiating between independent and dependent variables, using linear regression to describe the relationship between these variables, and drawing inference about the parameters of the population regression line. Each group of students collects data on the rebound heights of a ball dropped multiple times from each of several different heights.
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Star Library: Simulating Size and Power Using a 10-Sided Die
This group activity illustrates the concepts of size and power of a test through simulation. Students simulate binomial data by repeatedly rolling a ten-sided die, and they use their simulated data to estimate the size of a binomial test.
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