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Elementary Statistics: Picturing the World (2nd Edition)

Larson, Ron; Farber, Elizabeth Author

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Written for successful study, every aspect of Elementary Statistics: Picturing the World has been carefully crafted to help readers learn statistics. Chapter topics cover an introduction to statistics, descriptive statistics, probability, discrete probability distributions, normal probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing with one sample, hypothesis testing with two-samples, correlation and regression, chi-square tests and the F-distribution, and nonparametric tests. For individuals who want to learn statistics.

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About the Author:

Ron Larson received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado in 1970. At that time he accepted a position with Penn State University, and he currently holds the rank of professor of mathematics at the university. Larson is the lead author of more than two dozen mathematics textbooks that range from sixth grade through calculus levels. Many of his texts, such as the seventh edition of his calculus text, are leaders in their markets. Larson is also one of the pioneers in the use of multimedia and the Internet to enhance the learning of mathematics. He has authored multimedia programs, extending from the elementary school through calculus levels. Larson is a member of several professional groups and is a frequent speaker at national and regional mathematics meetings.

Betsy Farber received her Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Penn State University and Master's degree in mathematics from the College of New Jersey. Since 1976, she has been teaching all levels of mathematics at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, where she currently holds the rank of professor. She is particularly interested in developing new ways to make statistics relevant and interesting to her students, and has been teaching statistics in many different modes—with TI-83, with MINITAB, and by distance learning as well as in the traditional classroom. A member of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), she is an author of The Student Edition to MINITAB and A Guide to MINITAB. She served as consulting editor for Statistics, A First Course and has written computer tutorials for the CD-ROM correlating to the texts in the Streeter Series in mathematics.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Welcome to Elementary Statistics: Picturing the World, Second Edition. We are grateful for the overwhelming acceptance and support of the First Edition. It is gratifying to know that our vision of combining theory, pedagogy, and design to exemplify how statistics is used to picture and describe the world has helped students learn about statistics and make informed decisions. This message—picturing the world—begins with the cover and is carefully integrated into every feature of the text.

New to the Second Edition

Two features in the Second Edition help students apply statistics to real-life situations and practice making decision about statistics.

Uses and Abuses. Each chapter now has a full page summarizing the uses of concepts in the chapter, as well as a description of common misuses. Each "abuse" is accompanied by one or more exercises.

Real Statistics—Real Decisions—Putting It All Together. Following the Review Exercises in each chapter, we have added a full-page real-life situation accompanied by exercises that ask students to use the concepts in the chapter to make decisions.

The exercise sets in the Second Edition include approximately 200 new exercises, giving the students more practice in performing calculations, making decisions, providing explanations, and applying results to a real-life setting.

In response to suggestions from statistics instructors, the coverage of topics in Chapters 2, 5, 7, and 9 is revised in the Second Edition.

  • In Chapter 2, the z-score is now introduced in Section 2.5, Measures of Position.
  • In Chapter 5, we added two new sections—Section 5.3, Normal Distributions: Finding Probabilities, and Section 5.4, Normal Distributions: Finding Values. These sections replace Section 5.3, Applications of Normal Distributions in the First Edition. Changing these sections allows the instructor to cover applications of normal distributions in greater detail and from two perspectives.
  • In Chapter 7, section 7.1, Introduction to Hypothesis Testing, we now introduce the concept of hypothesis testing using probability values, or P-values. The concept of using rejection regions is now introduced in Section 7.2, Hypothesis Testing for the Mean (Large Samples).
  • In Chapter 9, for instructors who prefer to cover Section 9.1, Correlation, immediately after covering graphing paired data in Chapter 2, we added a method for testing a population correlation coefficient that does not involve hypothesis testing. The method is simple and can easily be covered after Chapters 1 and 2.

General Features

Versatile Course Coverage. The table of contents of the text was developed to give instructors many options. For instance, by assigning the Extending the Basics exercises and spending time on the chapter projects, there is sufficient content to use the text in a two-semester course. More commonly, we expect the text to be used in a three-credit semester course or a four-semester course that includes a lab component. In such cases, instructors will have to pare down the text's 46 sections. If you want more information on sample syllabi, check the Web site that accompanies the text, www.prenhall.com/larson.

Choice of Tables. Our experience has shown that students find a cumulative density function (CDF) table easier to use than a "0-to-z" table. Using the CDF table to find the area under a normal curve is the topic of Section 5.2 on pages 214-218. Because we realize that many teachers prefer to use the "0-to-z" table, we have provided an alternative presentation of Section 5.2 using the "0-to-z" table in Appendix A of the book.

Graphical Approach. As with most introductory statistics texts, we begin the descriptive statistics chapter with a survey of different ways to display data graphically. A difference between this text and many others is that we continue to incorporate the graphical display of data throughout the text. For example, see the use of stem-and-leaf plots to display data on pages 348 and 349. In all, the text has over 900 graphs—surpassing all other introductory statistics texts.

Variety of Real-Life Applications. We have chosen real-life applications that are representative of the majors of the students taking introductory statistics courses. These include business, psychology, health sciences, sports, computer science, political science, and many others. Choosing meaningful applications for such a diverse audience is difficult. We wanted the applications to be authentic—but they also need to be accessible.

Data and Source Lines. The data sets in the book were chosen for interest, variety, and their ability to illustrate concepts. Most of the over 200 data sets contain actual data with source lines. The remaining data sets contain simulated data that, though not actual, are representative of real-life situations. All data sets containing 20 or more entries are available in a variety of electronic forms, including disk and Internet. In the exercise sets, the data sets that are available electronically are indicated by an icon.

Accuracy. Every effort was made to ensure the mathematical accuracy of the examples and exercise solutions. The examples and exercises were solved by two people independently. A third person compared the independent solutions and resolved differences. If you encounter errors that we missed, please contact us so that we can correct the problem in a subsequent printing.

Balanced Approach. The text strikes a balance between computation, decision making, and conceptual understanding. We have provided many Examples, Exercises, and Try It problems that go beyond mere computation. For instance, look at Exercises 31 and 32 on page 45. Students are not just asked to construct a relative frequency histogram for the given data, they are asked to go a step further and use the histogram to make a decision.

Prerequisites. Statistics contains many formulas and variables, including radicals, summation notation, Greek letters, and subscripts. So, some familiarity with algebra and evaluation of algebraic expressions is a prerequisite. Nevertheless, we have made every effort to keep algebraic manipulations to a minimum—often we display informal versions of formulas using words in place of or in addition to variables. For instance, see the definitions of midpoint and relative frequency on page 34.

Flexible Technology. Although most formulas in the book are illustrated with tabular "hand" calculations, we assume that most students who take this course have access to some form of technology tool, such as MINITAB, Excel, the TI-83, or SPSS. Because the use of technology varies widely, we have made the text flexible. It can be used in courses with no more technology than a scientific calculator—or it can be used in courses that require frequent use of sophisticated technology tools. For those who want specific instructions on particular technology tools, separate technology manuals are available to augment the text. Whatever your use of technology, we are sure that you agree with us that the goal of this course is not computation. Rather, it is to gain an understanding of the basic concepts and uses of statistics.

Page Layout. We believe that statistics is more accessible to students when it is carefully formatted on each page with a consistent open layout. This text is the first college-level statistics book to be written to design, which means that its features (Examples, Try It problems, Definitions, or Guidelines) are not split from one page to the next. Although this process requires extra planning and work in the development stage, the result is a presentation that is clean and clear.

MAA, AMATYC, NCTM Standards. This text answers the call for a student-friendly text that emphasizes the uses of statistics and not just the computation of its myriad of formulas. Our experience indicates that our job as instructors of an introductory course in statistics is not to produce statisticians but to produce informed consumers of statistical reports. For this reason, we have included many exercises that require students to provide written explanations, find patterns, and make decisions.

  • Chapter Openers. Where You're Going—The second page of the chapter opener has a feature called Where You're Going. It gives students an overview of the chapter, exploring concepts in the context of real-world settings.
  • Chapter Openers. Where You've Been—Each chapter begins with a two-page photographic t description of a real-life problem. The first page has a feature called Where You've Been. It shows students how the chapter fits into the bigger picture of statistics, by connecting it to topics learned in earlier chapters.
  • Titled Examples. Every concept in the text is clearly illustrated with one or more step-by-step examples. Each of the more than 200 examples is numbered and titled for easy reference. In presenting the examples, we used an open format with a step-by-step display that students can use as a model when solving the exercises.
  • Try Its. Each example in the text is followed by a similar problem called Try It Yourself. The answers to these problems are given in the back of the book, and the worked-out solutions are given in the Student's Solutions Manual.
  • Section Organization. Each section is organized by learning objectives. These objectives are presented in everyday language in a margin feature called What You Should Learn. The same objectives are then used as subsection titles throughout the section...

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