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Chapter 1.

Introduction

improving existing designs. and use of data to make decisions. statistical techniques can be a powerful aid in designing new products and systems. . analysis. 5 Why Engineers Study Statistics? The eld of statistics deals with the collection. Because many aspects of engineering practice involve working with data. Specically. and improving production processes. obviously some knowledge of statistics is important to any engineer. solve problems. developing. presentation. and designing. and design products and processes.

healthcare. – Acquiring information from data • Areas of concern for analysis – How should we collect the data? – How much data is needed? – How should we summarize the data? – What decisions or generalizations are possible based on the observations from data? • Statistical reasoning and methods can help you become efficient at obtaining information and making useful conclusions . psychology. linguistics. a vital tool! – Research (discovery of knowledge). quantitative decision making. development. production (reliability). 6 Application of Statistics • Important foundation. etc. quality control. optimization.

how to collect it (3) Apply appropriate statistical methods to extract information from data (4) Interpret the information and draw conclusions . 7 Acquiring Information from Data • Four crucial steps in a typical collection process: (1) Set clearly defined goals for the investigation (2) Make a plan of what data to collect.

8 Modern Statistics • Originally – description of data (Descriptive Statistics) – What data to present – choice of graphs / table / chart.summarizes key observations from data collection – A numerical description • Migrate towards generalization from data (Statistical Inference) – Generalization based on a sample of data – Observations are partial. etc. e.g. information to include. reasonable. quality of product samples in prediction of overall product quality – Must proceed with caution – is the generalization logical. – Must be comprehensive -. conclusions must be general. format of display. justifiable .

motivate the development of statistical reasoning Steps for learning from data: • Define a clear statement of purpose – Avoid fuzzy concepts like “soft”.g. “some”. Determine whether a particular amount of additive can be found that will increase the tensile strength of plastic parts by at least 10 pounds per square inch – Determine the unit. 9 Learning from Data • Evaluation of actual information is essential for acquiring new knowledge. “hard”. “fairly large”. – be precise in quantification – E. population of units and the characteristic of measurement . etc.

10 • Collect relevant data – Bear in mind you cannot collect the complete. exhaustive set of data – Carefully choose your experimental setup (there is countless experiments to run but you have limited time) – Work with partial information that helps you understand the big picture .

. Variable: The characteristic of interest for each unit in the population is called a variable if it can be expressed as a number. whose characteristics are of interest. usually an object or person. Statistical Population: A statistical population is the set of all measurements or record of some quality trait corresponding to each unit in the entire population of units about which information is sought. 11 Some Basic Denitions Unit: A single entity. Population of Units: The complete collection of units about which information is sought.

number of credits. and Variables: Population Unit VariablesCharacteristics All students student GPA. in school rightleft-handed All printed board type of defects. hiringnot hiring All books in book frequency of checkout. library replacement cost. repairs needed . currently enrolled hours of work per week. Units. number of defects. 12 Examples of Populations. circuit boards location of defects manufactured during a month All campus fast restaurant number of employees. food restaurants seating capacity. major.

Must be representative Must be large enough Must be relevant Selection of Samples: Caution! Self-selected samples | a bad practice May use randomization to avoid bias in sampling . 13 Sample: A sample from a statistical population is the subset of measure- ments that are actually collected in the course of an investigation.

14 Sample Selection – Case Study • Magazine featuring latest computer hardware/software wants to investigate the popularity (ownership) of specific new products • Enclosed a questionnaire or postcard in recent issues • Tabulate information from returned postcards and draw conclusions such as: – 40% of our readers have purchased software package P • Question: is this a good sample that is representative of the readers? .

It is the world that we would like to see. . The world of reality is the sample world. We hope that the characteristics of our sample reect well the characteristics of the population. 15 Remarks The ideal world is at the population level and is theoretical in nature. This is the level at which we really operate. That is. we treat our sample as a microcosm that mirrors the population.

. we begin the study of statistics by considering the basic concepts of probability. For this reason. 16 Relation Between Probability and Statistics The mathematics on which statistical methods rest is called probability theory.

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