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Using a Computer to Make and Print a Scatterplot

Date: 11/23/2003 at 11:54:52
From: Iris 
Subject: Making a Scatter Plot on the computer

I am taking a statistics course.  I know how to make a scatterplot and
I can use my TI83 but we have a project where we need the scatterplot
on paper to turn in.  I am comparing the size of diamonds to their
prices.  I have a lot of data points over a wide range and do not want
to make my graph by hand.  I was wondering if there is some program
that I could use online or on my computer?  I have heard that you can
use a spreadsheet, but I don't have the slightest clue how they work.
 If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.  Thanks! 



Date: 11/24/2003 at 06:16:29
From: Doctor Jeremiah
Subject: Re: Making a Scatter Plot on the computer

Hi Iris,

To do something with your computer you must have software that can do 
what you want.  In your case you would need software that can make a 
scatterplot.  A spreadsheet can definitely do that, but since I don't 
know what type of spreadsheet you have, I can't tell you how to use
it.  Let's see if we can find something on the internet that will work.

After some looking around I found this page:

    http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/grapher/index.html 

If you go to that page you will notice a graph that has a panel 
underneath with these four tabs:

  Graph, Window, Y= or Plots, and Data

Just ignore all the stuff in the panel below the tabs.

Click on the Data tab.  Now the graph is replaced with a spreadsheet.
 It is made up of rows and columns of 'cells'.  Column A will be the
size of the diamond and Column B will be the price.  So for each
diamond put the size and price into the corresponding columns of the
spreadsheet, each one on a new row.  There is a scroll bar on the
right side so that you can scroll down and get more empty rows.

After all the data is entered, click the "Y= or Plots" tab.  Check the
box beside the phrase "Plot 1: Column A, Column B".

Now click the "Window" tab.  Since we don't have negative diamond
sizes and prices enter 0 into the box beside "x min = " and "y min =".
 Then stick the maximum value from Column A into the box beside "x max
=" and stick the maximum value from Column B into the box beside "y
max =".

Now click the "Graph" tab and the graph will be displayed.  Just print 
out the web page with your printer.

If you want a fancier looking graph (with title, axis labels, legend,
etc.) then you really do need spreadsheet software on your computer
(which might already be there...).  Much of what we did here will also
work on your spreadsheet.  Good luck!

- Doctor Jeremiah, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ 
Associated Topics:
High School Calculators, Computers
High School Statistics

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