Statistical Thinking

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Session Overview

Photograph of a Roosevelt dime from 1948.

This lecture presents ways of ascertaining how dependable information extracted from samples is likely to be. It covers standard deviation, coefficient of variation, and standard error. It also shows how to use pylab to produce histograms.

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley on Flickr.

Session Activities

Lecture Videos

About this Video

Topics covered: Variance, standard deviation, standard error.


Recitation Videos

About this Video

Topics covered: Probability, statistics, Venn diagrams, distributions, standard deviation, Monte Carlo simulation, plotting graphs.

Check Yourself

What does the standard deviation tell us?

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It is a distance which describes the range +/- from the mean containing a particular fraction of the values; it describes the shape of the bell curve.



What is variance?

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A measure of how much spread there is in the possible different outcomes.



What is the coefficient of variation?

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The standard deviation divided by the mean. If it's less than 1, the distribution is considered low-variance.



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