Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Introductions to Statistics

Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics - Powerpoint Slides

A presentation with some quotes about statistics, some interesting facts, and a couple of really good examples of bad statistics in the media and politics.

Probably better suited to higher groups, but lower groups may find it interesting too.  My main reasoning is that I think it's equally, if not more, important for people to be able to recognise bad statistics, as it is to understand good statistics.

More about the info in the slides on these Wikipedia pages:
Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics
Florence Nightingale

The original Daily Mail article:
Winning banned in TWO THIRDS of schools

A couple of other good examples of bad statistics:


Also a fantastic introduction is this BBC documentary with the charismatic public health specialist Hans Rosling, available on the Gapminder Website:

The Joy of Stats - Video (1hr)

There's a short snippet of this on YouTube of one great bit of graphic representation - 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes.  It's a scatter graph of health against wealth, but with extra variables represented by various methods - population, geographical region, and time.  Instead of the typical two variables that make up a scatter graph, they cram in a whopping five.

Makes for a cracking discussion, not to mention making data handling exciting.


While we're at it, this is a pretty good site too:

Information Is Beautiful - Website

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Please do make any suggestions for improvement, variations that could be made, and let me know of any errors in the resources, or sections that students find confusing.