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Topic: Minitab hegemony? n) y
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Bob Hayden

Posts: 2,384
Registered: 12/6/04
Minitab hegemony? n) y
Posted: Sep 13, 1996 11:56 AM
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----- Forwarded message from Paul Velleman -----

I'll chime in with Tim Erickson. There are other good teaching programs
available. DataDesk is less expensive than Minitab

----- End of forwarded message from Paul Velleman -----

DataDesk is certainly a very highly regarded program. It was the
favorite of the folks involved in the S.T.A.T.S. Project to retrain
college math. teachers to teach statistics, and I see no reason why it
would be less suitable for high school math. teachers. However, we
ended up using Minitab because it ran on so many platforms, while
DataDesk just ran on Macs at the time. (We wanted to be able to buy
each participant a copy of the program we used at the workshop that
they could take home and use there too regardless of what hardware
they had.)

As to cost, I guess I would advise you to shop around and look at the
bottom line. When we have done that Minitab has always been a real
bargain compared to anything else available (except the free NCSS),
largely because they have so many license options and give huge
academic discounts. For PSC, it was $1200 a year for use by about
1200 people, or about $1 each, from a central Unix system. For
S.T.A.T.S. I think we paid about $70 per person for the full PC or Mac
version. The Student editions go for about $50 a copy in quantities
of one at the college bookstore. Of course, none of the vendors have
much experience with the high school market, so our experience may not
translate. However, don't pay ANY attention to list prices of these
packages -- call the company that produces the software and see what
they will do for you.

I am curious as to where the idea originated that AP Stats. would
favor Minitab over other software packages. Of course, the ANOVA
tables and such like that Minitab prints out do not look anything like
a TI-83 screen, but they are pretty generic and standard compared to
other software packages. Perhaps we should try to ensure that every
AP Stats. TEACHER know at least one such package well, and be at least
familiar with a couple others so they have some idea of what is
standard and what is a peculiarity of a particular package. If that
were to happen, I think there might be far fewer people trying to
teach statistics with a TI-83!-)


I do not have a financial interest in any of these products.
I own full versions of Minitab and NCSS, as well as one each of the
TI-80, 82, and 83, all paid for out of my own pocket. I think
DataDesk is an excellent product, but I'm allergic to Macs.

| | Robert W. Hayden
| | Department of Mathematics
/ | Plymouth State College
| | Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264 USA
| * | Rural Route 1, Box 10
/ | Ashland, NH 03217-9702
| ) (603) 968-9914 (home)
fax (603) 535-2943 (work)

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