Q&A #689

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Mean, Median, and Mode

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From: Loyd

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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