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)

The mean number of skittles, the standard deviation, the 95% confidence interval and

all the other statistical values found in a sample of skittles meant nothing to me before this

class. All I wanted was to eat the skittles and enjoy the taste of the rainbow. This skittle project

taught me how to apply statistical principles to the real world.

Recently I was taking a tour of the Coca-Cola plant. As I watched the amount of cans and

bottles being sorted, filled, labeled, packaged and shipped off in a short amount of time, the

principles of statistics ran across my mind. First, I thought about how many cans of soda are

produced each day. The tour guide told me the plant shipped 1.8 million cans of soda each day.

As I considered how he knows that number, I immediately thought about the mean. Each day

they likely don’t produce exactly 1.8 million cans of soda, but rather 1.8 million is the mean

number of cans of many days. This was a simple way in which I noticed statistics I learned in

class applied to the real world.

This term project taught me a lot about my own problem solving skills. It was a great

way to practice problem solving because it was a real, tangible study that we did as a class. It

wasn’t something I just read out of a book, but rather something I played a role in creating.

Also, this project really forced me to internalize the statistics and understand what I was doing

and what the results meant. It wasn’t just plugging numbers in and getting numbers out. It was

real data that I had to internalize and understand. This is a skill that I will continue to practice in

my life and I know it is important to master.

Although I was hesitant about this term project at the beginning of the semester, I am

grateful it was assigned and it is something I will remember. Statistics is all around us and can

tell us a lot about the world in which we live.

Parts 1 & 2 – Data Collection and Compilation

Data:

Personal Data

Class Data

Red

13

219

Orange

19

205

Yellow

7

220

Green

11

213

Purple

12

213

Total

62

1070

**The class data shows us that although different, the colors of skittles in a bag is
**

relatively consistent. At first glance, we can see the data is similar with two numbers being the

same and two others being one value apart. The mean is 214 with a standard deviation of 6. All

of our data is within 2 standard deviations of the mean, thus showing that our data has no

outliers. My personal data is irregular compared to the class data. I had almost three times as

many orange skittles compared to yellow. The mean for my personal data was 12.4 with

standard deviation of 4.34. Although all the data was within 2 standard deviations and has no

outliers, 4.34 is a big standard deviation for a small set of data.

The graphs are not what I expected to see. After I did my counts and seeing a big

difference between certain colors, I was expecting to see the same results in the class data.

However, the class data shows that the color of skittles in a bag should have similar numbers.

The reason for a difference in my personal data was the result of using a small sample size.

Using a small data set will result in a greater chance for irregular data and counts, such as my

personal data. I now know that after I eat many bags of skittles, I will consume a similar amount

of each color!

Part 3 – Summary Statistics

**Our class had a sample size of eighteen bags of 2.17 oz. skittles. The shape of the distribution
**

was sporadic and followed no systematic order. The max amount of candies, 62, also had the

greatest frequency of five bags. However, the range of the distribution is relatively small (six).

Both the distribution and the range are what we would expect to see. We could do another

sample of eighteen bags and get another scattered distribution with a small range. This would

be consistent throughout different trials.

The mean from the class data was 59.4 and my number of candies was 62. These

numbers are close enough that my data is consistent with the data from the class. The

differences found in different bags of candy could be attributed to broken candies, which we

did not count in our data. I had no broken candies in my bag, thus I had a higher number

compared to the mean.

Categorical data and quantitative data is important to understand if we want to

interpret and create understand from our results. Categorical data are things that cannot be

placed in an order or the order of them does not matter. For example, colors and numbers on

the back of basketball player’s jerseys are examples of categorical data. We could put these

things in order; however, the order would not matter. Quantitative data is data that can be

ordered representing counts or measurements. Examples of quantitative data is number of

skittles in a bag or the heights of basketball players. These can be placed in order and their

differences mean something.

The types of graphs most commonly used for categorical data are bar graphs, pareto

charts, and pie charts. For example, in a bar graph the x-axis represents the category and the yaxis represents the frequency or relative frequency. We could create a histogram with the xaxis having the color of skittles and the y-axis the frequency of those colors in a certain bag.

This is an easy graph to read if we want to compare how many of the different colors of skittles

are in each bag. The types of graphs most commonly used for quantitative data are bar graphs,

stemplots, scatterplots. These things will tell us counts of certain numbers, will help use

estimate the middle, and show us if our data has a certain trend or distribution.

The types of calculations that make sense for categorical data are frequency or relative

frequency. Often when sorting through categorical data, we are interested in the amount of

that certain category. Calculations such as mean, median, and mode could be calculated for

numerical categorical data, but finding these numbers would not make sense or mean anything.

For quantitative data that has order and measure, calculations such as range, median, mean,

mode, and 5-number summaries make sense to calculate. These calculations will help us

understand the distribution of our data and the role each count plays in our sample.

**Part 4 – Confidence Intervals
**

A confidence interval is a range of sample estimates that hopefully encompasses the true

value of what we are seeking (such as mean, standard deviation or proportion). For example, a

99% confidence interval will be two numbers in which we are 99% confident that the true value

of the population lies between the two numbers. The purpose of the confidence interval is it

gives us a sense of how good our estimate is. Rather than just using a single value, we formulate

of confidence interval of certain percent (i.e. 90%, 95%, 99%) to see how accurate our point

estimate is. Confidence intervals are important in describing how certain or uncertain our sample

estimate is in relation to the population parameter.

Part 5 – Hypothesis Testing

**1. A hypothesis is a statement made about a characteristic of any particular population.
**

When a hypothesis test is performed, the claim or statement made about that

population is being tested against a certain confidence level. Each hypothesis tests

creates a null and alternate hypothesis. The null hypothesis is a statement that some

value of the population is equal to a given claim, and the alternate hypothesis is a value

that differs from a certain claim. The conclusion made is either to reject or fail to reject

the null hypothesis. Thus, the meaning of the hypothesis test is found in the conclusion:

it is testing a certain claim made about a population. Hypothesis tests are used to test

the population mean, the population standard deviation or variance, or the population

proportion. The meaning

2. Work shown on scanned paper

3. Work shown on scanned paper

4. In the population proportion of 20% of the skittles being red, all requirements are met.

Specifically, it is a simple random sample, the conditions for a binomial distribution are

met, and np & nq are both greater than 5. In the population mean, the requirement of

the population being normally distributed or n > 30 is not met. The population seems to

follow a normal distribution until we get to bags with 62 skittles, which is the most

amount of skittles and is the most common in the population. Thus, we conclude that

the requirements for the population mean are not met.

5. In the population proportion, our p-value was substantially bigger than the confidence

level and thus we failed to reject the null hypothesis. This means that we fail reject the

claim that 20% of skittles are red. This was pretty intuitive after we calculated p-hat,

which was 20.46%. With that proportion being so close to the claim and our sample size

being quite small, we could see that our claim would not be rejected. With the

population mean, our t-value was a lot larger than the critical value, thus we rejected

the null hypothesis. This means we rejected the claim that the mean number of skittles

in a bag was 55. Again, this was pretty intuitive as we looked at the sample mean of

59.4. Also, none of the bags had less than 56 skittles, so it would be impossible for the

mean to be 55. Thus, it is clear that our hypothesis was correct and we made no error in

rejecting the claim that the mean number of skittles in the bag was 55.

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