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Teacher Resources/Mathematics
Against All Odds: Inside Statistics

A video instructional series on statistics for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 32 6- to 14-minute video modules and coordinated guides

Now on DVD

Picking up where the original Against All Odds left off, the new series maintains the same emphasis on "doing" statistics. Each unit is based on a video module that introduces a statistical topic in real-world context and takes you on location to where people from all walks of life are using statistics in their work. Starting with descriptive statistics, the course continues through probability and inference. Examples range from finding patterns in lightning strikes, to examining possible generic resistance to deadly Lassa fever in West Africa, to linking DDT to the decline of peregrine falcons. Online interactive tools allow students to practice and use whey they've learned.

NOTICE: The original 30-minute Against All Odds programs have been removed from the bottom of this page (programs #33-58). If you wish to purchase a DVD copy of the original series for 60% off the original price, you can do so by calling 1-800-LEARNER (532-7637). We will continue to sell the original series as long as supplies last.

Produced by Chedd-Angier in collaboration with COMAP. 2013.

Closed Caption     marc record    ISBN: 1-55946-091-1

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Individual Program Descriptions

VOD1. What Is Statistics?
Statistics is the art and science of gathering, organizing, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. And without rudimentary knowledge of how it works, people can't make informed judgments and evaluations of a wide variety of things encountered in daily life. Go to this unit.

VOD2. Stemplots
As a first step in visualizing data, we use stemplots to understand measurements taken by the U.S. Army when they size up soldiers in order to design well-fitting gear and supplies for modern warfighters. Go to this unit.

VOD3. Histograms
Meteorologists use histograms to map when lightning strikes and this visualization technique helps them understand the data in new ways. Go to this unit.

VOD4. Measures of Center
It's helpful to know the center of a distribution — which is what the clerical workers in Colorado Springs found out in the 1980s when they campaigned for comparable wages for comparable work. Mean and median are two different ways to describe the center. Go to this unit.

VOD5. Boxplots
Using the example of hot dog calorie counts, we use boxplots to visualize the five-number summary and make comparisons between different types of frankfurters. Go to this unit.

VOD6. Standard Deviation
How can we compare sales at two franchises in the Wahoo's restaurant chain? Standard deviation helps us quantify the variability in sales. Go to this unit.

VOD7. Normal Curves
A nature preserve that's tracked bird migrations through New England for decades records tons of bird-related data; everything from wingspan measurements to arrival dates provides examples of normal distributions. Go to this unit.

VOD8. Normal Calculations
Visit the Boston Beanstalks club for tall people. Height is normally distributed and we can use membership cutoffs and population data to calculate z-scores. Go to this unit.

VOD9. Checking Assumption of Normality
Production at Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs provides a number of distributions that look normal — but are they? Go to this unit.

VOD10. Scatterplots
Plotting annual numbers of Florida powerboat registrations and manatee killings suggests an uncomfortable relationship for the marine mammals. Go to this unit.

VOD11. Fitting Lines to Data
Winter snowpack in the Colorado Rockies can predict spring water supply. Plotting annual measurements in a scatterplot lets resource managers draw a regression line that helps them forecast water availability. Go to this unit.

VOD12. Correlation
Twin studies track how similar identical and fraternal twins are on various characteristics, even if they don't grow up together. Correlation lets researchers put a number on it. Go to this unit.

VOD13. Two-Way Tables
One city surveyed the happiness of its residents. Two-way tables help organize the data and tease out relationships between happiness levels and opinions about aspects of the city itself. Go to this unit.

VOD14. The Question of Causation
This historical story describes how researchers untangled the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Go to this unit.

VOD15. Designing Experiments
We move beyond observational studies — like one of marine life in the remote Line Islands — to designing experiments that manipulate various subject groups — as in the case of a medical study about osteoarthritis treatments. Go to this unit.

VOD16. Census and Sampling
The U.S. counts every resident every ten years — or at least tries to. Statisticians use sampling from a population as an alternative to a complete count, as utilized at a potato chip factory. Go to this unit.

VOD17. Sample and Surveys
A visit to the University of New Hampshire Survey Center illustrates how pollsters create accurate surveys. They can then use details from their sample to make inferences about a whole population. Go to this unit.

VOD18. Introduction to Probability
Probability is the mathematics of chance behavior — and can help predict events such as the daily weather, or whether an asteroid will collide with Earth. Go to this unit.

VOD19. Probability Models
Casinos are as well versed in probability as statisticians and probability models help them maintain the house advantage over gamblers. Go to this unit.

VOD20. Random Variables
The Challenger space shuttle disaster was blamed on faulty O-rings. How can probability calculations on random variables help predict the chances of this kind of failure? Go to this unit.

VOD21. Binomial Distributions
Sickle cell disease is an example of binomial distribution in families with two parents who are carriers for this genetic trait. Go to this unit.

VOD22. Sampling Distributions
Heights of third graders in one class. Quality scores for circuit boards at a factory. Taking multiple samples allows us to visualize the sampling distribution of the sample mean. Go to this unit.

VOD23. Control Charts
This quality control method helped Quest Diagnostics streamline and improve their system for processing and testing lab samples so they could meet their nightly deadlines. Go to this unit.

VOD24. Confidence Intervals
A battery manufacturer tests just a sample of its product to verify its claims about battery life. A margin of error and a confidence level help quantify its accuracy. Go to this unit.

VOD25. Tests of Significance
Is a newly-discovered poem really written by William Shakespeare? Using statistical analysis of his known word use, researchers set up null and alternative hypotheses to investigate. Go to this unit.

VOD26. Small Sample Inference for One Mean
A brewer uses this technique to monitor quality differences in multiple batches of the same beer. Go to this unit.

VOD27. Comparing Two Means
Comparing the activity and calorie expenditure levels of Western office workers and African hunter gatherers adds some surprising new data to the science of obesity. Go to this unit.

VOD28. Inference for Proportions
Managers have no clue what conditions actually motivate their workers best, as shown by research conducted by Teresa Amabile, host of the original Against All Odds. Go to this unit.

VOD29. Inference for Two-Way Tables
Host Dr. Pardis Sabeti's own research examines possible genetic resistance to deadly Lassa fever in West Africa. Using Inference for Two-Way Tables helps untangle potential relationships. Go to this unit.

VOD30. Inference for Regression
Historical story of how statisticians built the case against DDT as the culprit behind plummeting peregrine falcon population numbers. Go to this unit.

VOD31. One-Way ANOVA
Does holding a heavier clipboard make you estimate that a jar of coins has more money in it than if you're holding a lighter clipboard? Psychologists use One-Way ANOVA to analyze the data from this experiment. Go to this unit.

VOD32. Summary
This review of the course through the preceding 31 video modules provides an overview of the practice of statistics and helps students appreciate how statistical methods can help them better understand their world. Go to this unit.


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