Data Analysis Summary

Monday, July 9

We began our session by discussing FATHOM (an interactive software program) and what we want to do with it. We need to decide what item we want to produce for use during the next school year. One possibility is to create some data set that can work at 7-12 grade levels and use different aspects within FATHOM for the different levels of mathematics programs being taught. One concept that arose was the possibility of creating a survey for the PCMI participants within which we can compile and manipulate data with FATHOM. We might be able to make a relevant connection by making a presentation at a future cross program session. Carol Hattan mentioned that the Math Researchers might be interested in working with our group.

Nancy Birkenhauer volunteered to be our member representative on the Program Committee.

We would like to create a working forum on line for all PCMI/HSTP participants and possibly create LISTSERV╣s for ongoing discussion during the year.

Don Davenport suggested that there were three major areas that FATHOM deals with:

  1. Number crunching with data (algebra concepts of graphing lines, fitting equations to lines, finding lines of best fit, etc.)

  2. Ability to develop the Fibonnacci series or triangular numbers (geometric concepts)

  3. Probability and Statistics work (including making inferences)

We then went to the computer lab and worked out of the Data in Depth book that comes with the program exploring probability simulations to reinforce some of the concepts that we have previously practiced, discuss problem areas, and discuss concepts that we might want to include or modify for our project. This served to help our members get more involved and become more familiar with FATHOM.

Carol then showed the group a problem where she used some of the algebraic aspects of FATHOM in one of her classrooms. We concluded with the request to continue to perform more of the simulations from the Data in Depth book to become more comfortable with the program.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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