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For our topic we chose to see if Olympic swimmers heights affected their times, in the

200 meter butterfly. We collected our data by going to the internet and typing olympic

swimmers. We then took their height and time and put them into a spreadsheet. Our

explanatory variable is the height of the swimmers. Our response variable is how fast the

swimmers swam in the 200m butterfly. Our scatter plot shows a negative correlation. We

thought there was going to be more of a correlation but we were wrong. It was very weak. Our

correlation coefficient, r, is -0.33 which is very low. The correlation coefficient tells us how

closely correlated the height and time are. The average height is 72.29 inches and the average

time is 117.46 seconds. We found the averages by going to our calculator and pressing stat,

edit, and then we typed our data set into L1 and L2. We then went to stat, calc, 2 variable

statistics. The x represented the average height and the y represented the average time. After

words, we found our least square regression line for our data and we came up with = -0.284x

+137.996. We found the regression line by going to stat, calc 4: LinReg (ax+b).

The marginal change is -.284. For each change of 1 inch in height you see -.284

seconds for the change in time. The slope of the regression line tells us how many units the

response variable is expected to change for each unit change in the explanatory variable. The

number of units change in the response variable is for each unit change in the explanatory

variable is called the marginal change of the response variable. In other words, the marginal

change is the number the y value goes up per unit of x.

There are three influential points in the data set. Influential points are points that can

change the rest of the data, in other words, influential points are outliers. We found that any

outliers would be the y values, and would be anything lower than 109.98 seconds and anything

higher than 124.51 seconds. Based on this information, we found 3 influential points: (66,

126.37), (69, 124.72), and (71, 124.64). We took out each of these numbers from our data set

and found our statistics for our new data set. The information showed that our data was even

more scattered than before. The new equation of our regression line was = -0.066x+121.77

and our new r = 0.014. Because we took our influential points out, we could tell that there was

even less of a correlation than we previously thought based on our normal data set. This could

be because the outliers in our data set actually supported our theory, that taller swimmers have

quicker times or that shorter swimmers have slower times.

The original value of our coefficient of determination, r, was 0.11. Because this value is

close to 0, this means our data set has no correlation. If this number would have been closer to

2

1, it would have meant that our data did have some kind of correlation; however, 0.11 is too

close to zero and our coefficient of determination tells us that there is no correlation between the

height of swimmers and their swimming times.

The coefficient of determination can tell you if a data set has correlation, and it can tell

you how much of the variation is explained by the linear model. Because our r = 0.11, we can

tell that 11% of our data is explained. We can find this percent by multiplying r by 100. If 11%

of the variation is explained by the linear model, this means that 89% of our variation is

unexplained by our linear model. Because there is such a large percent of the variation

unexplained, we can tell that there are lurking variables influencing our y variables.

One lurking variable that could be affecting the olympic swimmer's time is simply that the

swimmer might not have had their best day. It is rare that in the olympics whenever the

swimmers compete they get a personal record, this shows that some swimmers have swam

better on another day. One lurking variable is that the swimmers were just having an off day.

Another lurking variable that could be present are injuries. There have been some swimmers

that swim with sore shoulders or with cramped legs. Injuries could affect how fast a swimmer

finishes in their heat. Both of these lurking variables could affect our data set because some

swimmers may have decreased their time. Shorter swimmers and taller swimmers could both

have been affected by these lurking variables and because of this, any of our times could have

changed, meaning that while these lurking variables may have affected our data, it may not

have affected the results we concluded.

Our data had no correlation, therefore making it hard for us to predict interpolation or

extrapolation points. Interpolation is predicting values for x values that are between observed

x values in the data set. For example, we predicted what a 68 inch tall swimmers time might be.

In order to find this we plugged 68 into our regression line equation ( = -0.284x+137.996). We

found that a swimmer with a height of 68 inches might swim a time of 117.28 seconds. While

interpolation can be close the correct answer, extrapolations is more likely to be inaccurate

because extrapolation deals with a data point outside of the data set. Extrapolation is predicting

values for x values that are beyond observed x values in a data set. An example of

extrapolation for our data set would be predicting the swim time of an 80 inch tall swimmer might

be. In order to estimate the swim time value, we plugged in 80 for x in our regression line

equation and got 115.28 seconds. This means that, based on our data, an 80 inch tall swimmer

might swim the 200 meter butterfly in 115.28 seconds. However, this number could be

3

inaccurate because it is outside of our data set, and because there is not a strong correlation

between our data values.

Times every other one:

http://london2012.nytimes.com/swimming/mens-200m-butterfly#heats

Times all:

https://www.rio2016.com/en/swimming-standings-sw-mens-200m-butterfly

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