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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Mean, Median, and Mode

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002022314:48:02
Subject: Re: Re: Probability/Statistics stem-and-leaf & box-whisker plot

I had two course in statistics; one at the undergraduate level and one
at the graduate level.  We never used the two plots named above, but
some of the software used in the class had the one of them, I forget
which.  When the VA standards came out, I looked at several high
school level books and most of them said nothing about stem-and-leaf
or Box-whisker plots.  One book that does is, "Algebra 2" by Glencoe.
I looked at a 1992 version book.  

The VA Standards allow use of a graphing calculator and one of them,
the TI-83, will graph the box-whisker plot.  So, what I know about the
box-whisker plot was learned partly by using the TI-83.  It is simple
to use and easy to understand, but I think many of the states don't
use these plots.  

The stem-and-leaf plot was new to me but it turns out I had been using
it for years but didn't have a name for it.  On a long research trip
to the library of congress, I used the index of some large books to
find many pages I wanted to look at and maybe copy.  One can take the
page numbers such as 999, 998,997, 666, 553 etc. and place the first
two digits in a column on the left and the ones digit in a horizontal
row such as:

99    6, 8, 9
66    6,
55    3  
etc.  

This method makes it easy to organize the data.  I think that is the
sole purpose of the stem-leaf-plot.


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