MATH 342[S]:Visual Investigations: Strategies for Exploring Data with Statistical Graphics

Take a complex dataset with many variables - perhaps dealing with science, finance, psychology, or even baseball. What can you learn from this dataset? How can you reveal the patterns and discover the stories within it? Often, the best way to start is to make a picture- a statistical graphic.

Statistical graphics are essential to many aspects of analyzing data; exploring relationships, visualizing trends, formulating and investigating hypotheses. In this course, we will discuss graphical methods in statistics and apply them to real datasets. We will also address related questions: Which types of graphics convey information most effectively in different situations? When can pictures mislead us, as in the proverbial "lying with statistics"? How can we use graphics in "statistical detective work" to reveal errors in data collection and analysis? The course will emphasize student analyses and presentations, and is suitable for mathematics majors, social and natural science majors, or anyone interested in the subject.