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Frequency Polygons

Graphical display of the frequency table can also be achieved through a frequency polygon. To create
a frequency polygon the intervals are labeled on the X-axis and the Y axis represents the height of a
point in the middle of the interval. The points are then joined are connected to the X-axis and thus a
polygon is formed. So, frequency polygon is a graph that is obtained by connecting the middle points
of the intervals. We can create a frequency polygon from a histogram also. If the middle top points of
the bars of the histogram are joined, a frequency polygon is formed.

Frequency polygon and histogram fulfills the same purpose. However, the former one is useful in
comparison of different datasets. In addition to that frequency polygon can be used to display
cumulative frequency distributions.

How to Create a Frequency Polygon?
As already mentioned, histogram can be used for creating frequency polygon. The X-axis represents
the scores of the dataset and the Y-axis represents the frequency for each of the classes. Now, mark
the mid top points of each bar of the created histogram for each class interval. One generally uses a
dot for marking. Now join all the dots by straight lines and connect it with the X-axis on both sides.
For creating a frequency polygon without a histogram, you just need to consider the midpoint of the
class intervals, such that it corresponds to the frequencies. Then connect the points as stated above.

The following table is the frequency table of the marks obtained by 50 students in the pre-test

Table 1. Frequency Distribution of the marks obtained by 50 students in the pre-test examination.

(Less than












The shape of the distribution can be determined from the created frequency polygon.5 and lastly 75. So the first label on the X-axis will be 35.5 3 Total 50 50 The labels of the X-axis are the midpoints of the class intervals. Cumulative frequency of less than type is obtained by adding the frequency of each class interval to the sum of all frequencies in the lower intervals.e. i. followed by 55. .5-40.5.5. The corresponding frequencies are then considered to create the frequency polygon.5 is 6 since the sum of all frequencies in the lower intervals is 0. 65.5. In table 1 for example. next 45. the cumulative frequency for the class interval 30.5-50. The frequency polygon is shown in the following figure.5 is 20 since the sum of all frequencies in the lower intervals is 14. Again the cumulative frequency for the class interval 40. 6+14=20. From the above figure we can observe that the curve is asymmetric and is right skewed.70. The difference is that in creating a cumulative frequency polygon we consider cumulative frequencies instead of actual frequencies. Fig 1: Frequency polygon of the distribution of the marks obtained by 50 students in the pre-test examination.5-80. Cumulative Frequency Polygon: Cumulative frequency polygon is similar to a frequency polygon.5. so for the next interval it will be 6+14+20=40 and so on.

In such case frequency polygons of different data are drawn on the same graph. The frequency curves of the two distributions are used for comparison. The above thing can be made clear through illustrations. frequency polygon can be used. Fig3: Overlaid Frequency polygon of the distributions of rolling two dice The observed curve overlaps expected curve. . The following is an example of dice where the distribution of observed frequencies and the distribution of expected frequencies are compared for different scores of two dice.The following is the cumulative frequency polygon Fig2: Cumulative Frequency polygon of the marks obtained by 50 students in the pre-test examination. Overlaid Frequency Polygon: Also to compare the distributions of different data sets. The expected curve is smooth while the observed curve is not smooth.

The marks of two papers are compared throughcumulative frequency polygon. The following figure shows such plot. Applied Statistics .Lesson 1 .Also cumulative frequency polygon can also be plotted in the same graph. Fig4: Overlaid cumulative frequency polygon Fig5: Frequency polygon drawn over the histogram Statistical help and online statistics help provided by us will thus help you to learn the proper use and various aspects of statistics.

Precision  Uses and Abuses of Statistics  Types of Data o Qualitative o Quantitative: Discrete vs. sixteen lesson unit will first introduce and briefly cover the area known as descriptive statistics. Ratio 3. Interval. Continuous 2. Data Types. Descriptive statistics generally characterizes or describes a set of data elements by graphically displaying the information or describing its central tendancies and how it is distributed. This four week. statistics is a subject or field of study closely related to mathematics.Definitions. . First. Homework The term statistics has several basic meanings. Uses. and Levels of Measurement Lesson Overview  What is Statistics: Descriptive Statistics vs Inferential Statistics  General terms Used Throughout Statistics o Population o Sample o Parameter o Statistic  Basic Mathematics for Statistics  Accuracy vs. The last half of the course will cover inferential statistics. Ordinal. Levels of Measurement: Nominal.

who web registered. Since 1 is 12. Most any of the examples above for population could serve as a sample for the next higher level data set.Inferential statistics tries to infer information about a population by using information gathered by sampling. If we assume this class is representative of all classes. The plural of statistic just above is another basic meaning of statistics. Inferential statistics is used to draw conclusions about a population by studying a sample. Basic Mathematics for Statistics . General Terms Used Throughout Statistics Population: The complete set of data elements is termed the population. Remember: Parameter is to Population as Statistic is to Sample. descriptive and inferential statistics are not mutually exclusive. Parameter: A parameter is a characteristic of the whole population. The inferences made about a population from a sample help describe that population.S. homo sapiens. It is not guesswork! We test hypotheses about a parameter's value with a certain risk of being wrong. and we treat this 1 student as a sample drawn from a larger population. citizens. last name starting with S. We also tend to use Roman letters for statistics and Greek letters for parameters. That risk is carefully specified. female. Statistics: The collection of methods used in planning an experiment and analyzing data in order to draw accurate conclusions. U. Statistic: A statistic is a characteristic of a sample. then the 13% becomes a statistic. with 1 student being male. presumably measurable. The 13% represents a parameter (not a statistic) of the class because it is based on the entire population. we can say 13% are male. Assume there are 8 students in a particular statistics class. who are attending Andrews University. Also. primates. human beings. as graduate students.5% of 8. in the School of Education. as Masters students. The term population will vary widely with its application. Sample: A sample is a portion of a population selected for further analysis. Examples could be any of the following proper subsets: animals. How samples are obtained or types of sampling will be studied in lesson 7.

. + Cxn = C(x1 + x2 + . . which is equivalent to finding the 100th triangular number. There are three important rules for using the summation operator: 1. however.This course will avoid complex models utilizing complicated mathematics. 21. if we arrange the dots in a triangle with one additional dot in each layer.. where N represents how many constants there are. These are so called because these are the total number of dots. the fundamental arithmetic operations. Since multiplication distributes over addition. An interesting subset of the natural numbers generated by addition are called Triangular Numbers. 15. Example: Cx1 + Cx2 + . and some basic symbolism.. Your teacher has a particular fondness for this symbol since the first computer he had much access to had that nickname.. 10.. • • • • • • • • • • The triangular numbers thus are: 0. One way to do this is by grouping them as follows: T100 = (1 +100) + (2+99) + (3 + 98) + . + (50 + 51) = 101• 50 = 101• 100/2 In general we write: where mathematicians use the capital Greek letter (sigma) to represent summation. the sum of a constant times a set of numbers is the same as the constant times the sum of the set of numbers. You will need to be familiar with. 1. 3...+ xn) 2. Example: 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 5 × 4 = 20.. Suppose we wish to add together the first 100 natural numbers. elementary algebra. The sum of a series of constants is the same as N times the constant.. 6. .

subtraction. When the square root symbol (surd and symbol of inclusion. we general (although not quite always) mean only the positive square root. brackets. . in recent history a vinculum. then |x|=-x. Exponentiation and absolute value are two such. Some calculators are algebraic and handle this appropriately. The symbol used is a vertical line on either side of the operand.3. and division. Example: If we write 4 × 5 + 3 it is conventional to multiply the 4 and 5 together before adding the 3 and thus obtain 23. We say these symbols of inclusion have the highest priority or precidence. but historically parentheses) is used. if x<0. in order. In addition to the operations of addition. others do not. braces. 500 + 550 + 520 + 510 = 1050 + 1030 = 500 + 520 + 550 + 510 = 1020 + 1060 = 2090. Exponentiation is done next. cubing (63=216). A mnemonic such as Please Eat Miss Daisy's Apple Sauce can be useful for remembering the proper order of operation. Also. Addition and Subtraction are done next. There is confusion when exponents are stacked which we will not deal with here except to say computer scientists tend to do it from left to right while mathematicians know that is wrong. and square roots (16½= (16)=4. respectively. Since addition is commutative. in order. |x|=0. and ifx=0. from left to right. if x>0. from left to right. multiplication. Multiplication and Division are done next. Thus. The absolute value operator indicates the distance (always non-negative) a number is from the origin (zero). various symbols of inclusion (parentheses. (x2)=|x|. several other arithmetic operators often appear. Example: Joe got scores of 500 and 550 for his verbal and quantitative SAT scores whereas Jim got scores of 520 and 510. vincula) are used. then |x|=x. the total sum of two or more scores for several individuals can be achieved either by summing the scores separately and then combining them or by summing an individual's scores and then combining them. There is a proscribed order for arithmetic operations to be performed. Parentheses and other symbols of inclusion are used to modify the normal order of operations. Exponentiation is a general term which includes squaring (12 2=144).

There should not be too many significant digits. 5. Generally. I have several major concerns regarding significant digits. Thus representing 1/3 or 1/7 with infinite precision (by indicating the repeated unit) should not occur. 4. Slide rule accuracy or three significant digits has a long-standing precident in science. Care must be taken so that a primary statistics (such as variance) is not incorrectly derived from a secondary statistic (such as standard deviation) in such a way that accuracy is lost. especially in the "softer" sciences. and proper rounding of results. then the conclusions would be accurate. Precision The distinction between accuracy and precision. 3. Uses and Abuses of Statistics Most of the time. We will discuss this more in textbook Chapter 3. 1. is very important. Thus every statistics book gives its own heuristic. We are not doing science here so two may suffice. A mean and standard deviation or mean and margin of error should be given to compatible precision. samples are used to infer something (draw conclusions) about the population. This ties in with significant figures. but rarely one. However. There are proper rules.  Even a large sample may not represent the population.Accuracy vs. occasionally the conclusions are inaccurate or inaccurately portrayed for the following reasons:  Sample is too small. reviewed in Numbers lesson 9. but they are difficult to explain to the general public. If an experiment or study was done cautiously and results were interpreted without bias. 2. more than 5 is probably a joke. . There needs to be sufficient (not to few).

Specific terms are used as follows: 1. but emphasize different aspects. in this case however. Good. colors (ignoring any physical causes). is four times as much!  Precise statisitics or parameters may incorrectly convey a sense of high accuracy. Qualitative data are nonnumeric. Better. Some recent dictionaries acknowledge popular usage of the word data with a singular verb. However we intend to adhere to the traditional "English" teacher mentality in our grammar usage—sorry if "data are" just doesn't sound quite right! (My mother and step-mother were both English teachers. Types of Data A dictionary defines data as facts or figures from which conclusions may be drawn. Qualitative data are often termed catagorical data. Thus. bricks} are examples of qualitative data.  Visual aids may be correct.  Misleading or unclear percentages are often used. {Poor. The area. so clearly no offense is intended above. . sticks. Many examples could be added. Data can be classified as either numeric or nonnumeric. Specific examples include graphs which don't start at zero thus exaggerating small differences and charts which misuse area to represent proportions. Best}. including what units they are recorded in.) Datum is the singular form of the noun data. Some books use the terms individual and variable to reference the objects and characteristics described by a set of data. Statistics are often abused. 3. it is a collective. Fair. The reason the data were collected is also important. 2. They also stress the importance of exact definitions of these variables. or plural noun. and types of material {straw. Often a chart will use a symbol which is both twice as long and twice as high to represent something twice as much. (even books have been written) but it will be more instructive and fun to find them on your own. technically. A possibility is a company sponsoring a statistics research to prove that their company is better. Unauthorized personnel are giving wrong information that the public will take as truth.

but for normal life situations is a valid assumption. 1.. if three tradies make an absence. o Discrete data are numeric data that have a finite number of possible values. then aren't two tardies equal to 0.. At the physical level (microscopically). o A classic example of discrete data is a finite subset of the counting numbers. this may not be true.67 absences? o Continuous data have infinite possibilities: 1. Consider the legend of Galileo dropping weights from the leaning tower of Pisa.4. {1. they are discrete. 1. 1. are generally considered continuous.4. Counts are usually considered exact and integer. By structure we are referring to the fact that.3.414. Something which Galileo clearly did was measure the time it took a pendulum to swing with various amplitudes.. especially for mass. o Another classic is the spin or electric charge of a single electron. etc. Quantitative data are further classified as either discrete or continuous. volume.5} perhaps corresponding to {Strongly Disagree. the field of physics which deals with the very small. 1. The times for each item would be paired with the mass (and surface area) of the item. Consider. An example might be how many students were absent on a given day.) Levels of Measurement . o When data represent counts.141421.2. Quantum Mechanics. 5. The structure and nature of data will greatly affect our choice of analysis method. time.. is much concerned with discrete values.4142. mass. Strongly Agree}. The real numbers are continuous with no gaps or interruptions. the data might be pairs of measurements. Physically measureable quantities of length.4. (Galileo Galilei is considered a founder of the experimental method. however. Quantitative data are numeric. for example.41.

brown. nominative. red. whereas sex is something you should get a license for. green. . Nominal comes from the Latin root nomen meaning name. and white are just names of colors. the colors: red. violet. Interval: Interval data have meaningful intervals between measurements. Ratios between measurements as well as intervals are meaningful because there is a starting point (zero). blue. and violet correspond to specific wavelengths of light and would be an example of ratio data.The experimental (scientific) method depends on physically measuring things. yellow. Ordinal: Ordinal data have order. 1.) Example 1: Colors To most people. Gender is nominal. 7. this data is in ascending order and thus represents at least ordinal data. orange. the colors: black. To an electronics student familiar with color-coded resistors. 5. Example 2: Temperatures What level of measurement a temperature is depends on which temperature scale is used. Each level corresponds to how this measurement can be treated mathematically. Statisticians categorize measurements according to levels. green. gray. 3. To a physicist. The concept of measurement has been developed in conjunction with the concepts of numbers and units of measurement. but there is no true starting point (zero). blue. orange. Ratio: Ratio data have the highest level of measurement. Nominal: Nominal data have no order and thus only gives names or labels to various categories. yellow. but the interval between measurements is not meaningful. (Gender is something you are born with. Nomenclature. and nominee are related words.

the use of the degree symbol on tempertures Kelvin is no longer proper.67°R where C refers to Celsius (or Centigrade before 1948).. K refers to Kelvin. Only Kelvin and Rankine have true zeroes (starting point) and ratios can be found. (Note that since 1967. .69°R 100°C = 212°F = 373.) Although ordinal data should not be used for calculations.8°C = 0°F = 255.15 K = 671.Specific values: 0°C = 32°F = 273.. social security numbers) is rather meaningless! . Strongly Agree! Also.4 K = 459. a 180° dashboard is not twice as hot as the 90° outside temperature (Fahrenheit assumed)! Rankine has the same size degree as Fahrenheit but is rarely used. However.67°R -17.. it is not uncommon to find averages formed from data collected which represented Strongly Disagree. averages of nominal data (zip codes. To interconvert Fahrenheit and Celsius. see Numbers lesson 12.15 K = 491. R refers to Rankine. certainly order is important and intervals are meaningful. F refers to Fahrenheit. Celsius and Fahrenheit are interval data.