# How would you combine geometry and statistics?

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Its late, but I can't sleep so I figure I'll revisit one of my favorite problems: (re)formulating a math plan. Even though they never quite work out, I like making them.

I want to weave together a geometry and statistics course. Is this possible? I don't know where too look for statistics stuff at all, but we have time to put together something. We have some background in geometry and have had a chance to cover many of the basic skills via things like Keys to Geometry, the Geometry sections of Math Mammoth 4-6 and some Geometry supplements at the grades 6-10 level, but I'll probably get a used text from the book store/off amazon. We are not going to use AoPS Geometry.

Any suggestions for a Statistics text/manual? I saw the Zacarro book Scammed by Statistics, but I'm not sure if its a textbook or what.

Most of the college Stats textbooks that I've seen aren't in a kid-friendly layout, so I'm thinking that I'll have to rely on guides/manuals meant to supplement a course + videos or something.

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Yates's The Practice of Statistics is readable. You can go for an older edition. My library has the 4th edition in teen reference so I can check it out if there is something you need to know.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Practice-Statistics-Daren-Starnes/dp/142924559X

The cartoon guide to statistics is a nice friendly read.

http://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Guide-Statistics-Larry-Gonick/dp/0062731025

The Naked Statistics book is kind of like bedside reading.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/039334777X

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AP stats materials are very "just the facts". We've used several to piece together Stats as DD needed it. (the Practice of Statistics Arcadia linked is one of them, but we've also used the Barron's guide quite a bit, plus The cartoon guide, Statistics for Dummies, R for Dummies, and LOF Statistics-mostly, I use the AP book for me). The AP stat stuff is heavy on calculator use, but we've done more with R because that is what the "real world" uses (plus, R is free. A graphing calculator isn't).

We've done about a year of stat, equivalent to a high school or non-calc based college 1000 level over about 3 years. There is SO much real-world stats that you can do or evaluate day to day.

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How were you envisioning "combining" geometry and stats? Flipping from one area to the other, doing a bit of both on a daily basis, or using geometric shapes as potential data sets for statistical analysis, or something else? Perhaps looking for geometric shapes and patterns when plotting data sets? Could be pretty creative.

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If you're looking to integrate geometry and statistics, a good place to start would be least squares regression analysis. Fitting points to a line is very geometric, using as a base the Pythagorean Theorem.

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• 2 weeks later...

How were you envisioning "combining" geometry and stats? Flipping from one area to the other, doing a bit of both on a daily basis, or using geometric shapes as potential data sets for statistical analysis, or something else? Perhaps looking for geometric shapes and patterns when plotting data sets? Could be pretty creative.

Good question. I wish that I had a good answer. We'll probably wind up just starting a separate course in both and doing both throughout the week. Not sure if we'll do each every other day or a little bit of both daily or what.

I never learned statistics and I don't remember the more advanced parts of geometry. So while it would be cool to see if the two topics do actually interplay with one another, I'm not savvy enough to pull it off if its possible. What I do know is that we need a break from the algebraic and theoretical for the time being. We can refocus on Algebra later. I've got one really interested in geometry and mildly interested in stats and one really interested in statistics and mildly interested in geometry. So I'm going to see if we can't finish out the semester or possibly the year with statistics and geometry.

Edited by Gil
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I've had a lot of math education, but I don't see how you could combine those two courses.

You would do better to combine stat with a research heavy science, and apply your stat to gathered data.

You could also combine stat with MatLab programming, which would be pretty cool.  MatLab is not hard to learn and would replace any need for a calculator.  There's a free Matlab... name is escaping me... argh!  Google it.

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Octave!  The programming language is called Octave and can be used in lieu of Matlab and is free.  Phew.  I feel better.

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