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How much by hand.
Posted:
Nov 4, 1996 11:25 PM


I'll answer "how much by hand" for std deviation and correlation coefficients. In my physics courses (15 years) and now in statistics, I have my students calculate standard deviation for a set of repeated single variable data of the physicstype. They take their own data and work it up as a lab. A curve with the +/ 1, 2 and 3 std dev is drawn and a comparison made with the empirical rule. After that they may use the computer to find std dev for their labs. Likewise, correlation coef and equation of the best fit line is done by hand for a set of data. I derive the slope via calculus minimizing technique on the deviations from the mean. (It is good for my calc students, too.) They feel, and we discuss, the relationships among the slope, the std devia of x and y, and the cor coef. After that they use the computer for curvefitting to all curves. That's physics. Alice The Galloway School, Atlanta



