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In the first part of...

In the first part of this activity, you will generate some data that should

have an approximately normal (or bell-shaped) distribution. In the second

part, you will use the definition of standard deviation and compare the

standard deviations for two different data sets.

Work with a partner to generate the following data.

Toss 10 coins and record the number of heads you obtained.

1.

a.

SSAc17.indd 569 6/19/06 8:03:15 PM

570 Excel Activities

Repeat this 24 more times until you have a list of 25 numbers, each of

them between 0 and 10.

Retrieve the file “EA17.1 Coins and Presidents.xls” from the CD or website,

and you will find the results of 35 tosses of 10 coins that someone else

carried out. When you first retrieve the file, column B contains the number

of times 0 heads was obtained in the 35 tosses of 10 coins, the number

of times 1 head was obtained in the 35 tosses, and so on, up to the number

of times 10 heads was obtained. Add your results to the list so you have a

total of 60 in column B.

Create a scatterplot of these data, using one of the versions of the scatterplot

with the dots connected. Describe what your curve looks like, including

where it is “centered” and what its “spread” is.

Change your graph to a bar graph (instructions follow).

b.

c.

d.

e.

SSAc17.indd 570 6/19/06 8:03:15 PM

Activity 17.1: Coins, Presidents, and Justices 571

Instructions to Use Excel to Change a

Scatterplot to a Column Graph

Click on the plot area and select Chart from the menu bar.

From the drop-down menu, select Chart type. Now go to Column to

change your graph to a column (that is, a bar) graph and click OK.

Click one of the bars, go to Format on the menu bar, and choose Selected

data series. Click the Options tab. Change the Gap width to 0, so adjacent

bars will touch. (This will make it look like a histogram, and then you can

sketch a curve along the tops of the bars.)

Print your bar graph, with appropriate titles on the axes, and by hand

draw in a bell-shaped curve that “fits” this data. How does your handdrawn

curve compare with the curve you described in part d of this

question?

have an approximately normal (or bell-shaped) distribution. In the second

part, you will use the definition of standard deviation and compare the

standard deviations for two different data sets.

Work with a partner to generate the following data.

Toss 10 coins and record the number of heads you obtained.

1.

a.

SSAc17.indd 569 6/19/06 8:03:15 PM

570 Excel Activities

Repeat this 24 more times until you have a list of 25 numbers, each of

them between 0 and 10.

Retrieve the file “EA17.1 Coins and Presidents.xls” from the CD or website,

and you will find the results of 35 tosses of 10 coins that someone else

carried out. When you first retrieve the file, column B contains the number

of times 0 heads was obtained in the 35 tosses of 10 coins, the number

of times 1 head was obtained in the 35 tosses, and so on, up to the number

of times 10 heads was obtained. Add your results to the list so you have a

total of 60 in column B.

Create a scatterplot of these data, using one of the versions of the scatterplot

with the dots connected. Describe what your curve looks like, including

where it is “centered” and what its “spread” is.

Change your graph to a bar graph (instructions follow).

b.

c.

d.

e.

SSAc17.indd 570 6/19/06 8:03:15 PM

Activity 17.1: Coins, Presidents, and Justices 571

Instructions to Use Excel to Change a

Scatterplot to a Column Graph

Click on the plot area and select Chart from the menu bar.

From the drop-down menu, select Chart type. Now go to Column to

change your graph to a column (that is, a bar) graph and click OK.

Click one of the bars, go to Format on the menu bar, and choose Selected

data series. Click the Options tab. Change the Gap width to 0, so adjacent

bars will touch. (This will make it look like a histogram, and then you can

sketch a curve along the tops of the bars.)

Print your bar graph, with appropriate titles on the axes, and by hand

draw in a bell-shaped curve that “fits” this data. How does your handdrawn

curve compare with the curve you described in part d of this

question?

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