Mean, Median, and ModeDate: 07/15/98 at 20:39:08 From: Matthew Subject: Finding the Mode I understand the median, but I am having trouble understanding the mode. Can you please explain? Date: 07/16/98 at 07:58:35 From: Doctor Anthony Subject: Re: Finding the Mode If you have a set of numbers, say the ages of pupils in a group, then there are 3 different ways of finding a single number to represent the whole group. The most common is the 'mean' or average. For the mean you add up all the ages and divide this total by the number of pupils. The second way you could find a single representative number is to arrange all the pupils in a line in ascending order of age, with the youngest on the left and oldest on the right. You then go to the person standing in the exact middle of this line and find his/her age. This will be the median age. If there is an even number of pupils you will not have a single person at the midpoint, so you will take the middle pair and give the average of their ages as the median age. The third way to find a single representative number is to group the pupils by age, so you could have 5 pupils of age 10, 8 pupils of age 11, 14 pupils of age 12, 7 pupils of age 13, 2 pupils of age 14 and 3 pupils of age 15. Looking at this distribution of ages you see that the biggest group is those of age 12, so you say the 'mode' of the distribution is 12. In short, the mode is the most frequently occurring value. If no value occurs more than once then you don't have a mode. Sometimes two values will occur at an equal but greater frequency than other values, and in this case we say that the distribution is bi-modal. - Doctor Anthony, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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