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Standards in this domain: Develop understanding of statistical variability.

Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers. * For example, "How old am I?" is not a statistical question, but "How old are the students in my school?" is a statistical question because one anticipates variability in students' ages* .

Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution which can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape.

Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number. Summarize and describe distributions.

Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by:

Reporting the number of observations.

Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement.

Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.

Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.

H. Pishro-Nik is a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received a . degree from Sharif University of Technology, and . and . degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests include Information Theory, Error Control Coding, and mathematical analysis of wireless networks.