Recommended Grade Level: 11-12
Course Description: Practical Applications of Statistics
In the Work Place And In Everyday Life
We live in an information society; raw data, graphs, charts, rates, percentages, probabilities, averages, forecasts, and trend lines are an inescapable part of our everyday lives. It is hard to pick up a newspaper without finding an article in which a recent study makes a claim about the effect of a food product on people's health. Studies in which people who ate oatmeal had lower cholesterol than those who did not, might suggest that those with high cholesterol would be wise to eat oatmeal. In AP Statistics, we learn to examine the details of studies. We might question if oatmeal really lowered cholesterol or did the subjects just eat oatmeal instead of their normal breakfast of two fried eggs? Perhaps eating cornflakes would have had the same effect.
Many companies use statistics. Business decisions are made based on market research. Advertising executives want to know whether a new ad campaign significantly increases sales. Doctors must know the reliability of medicine and treatments. Products such as pharmaceuticals require significant evidence of effectiveness and safety. Politicians rely on data from polls and public opinion. Courts inquire about statistical significance in hearing class action discrimination cases. Any company that expects to obtain a government contract must have strong evidence of a statistical quality control program. Statistical literacy is important as we are all consumers of goods and services and need to make intelligent choices. Advanced Placement Statistics provides the opportunity for students to learn how to make good decisions with data.
The Four Major Components of AP Stats:
1. Experimental Design
Students design appropriate experiments in order to draw conclusions that can be generalized to the population of interest. Students will also interpret studies and experiments to determine whether the conclusions from the studies warrant consideration.
2. Exploring Data
Students collect and examine data and display the patterns that emerge. Data from students in class as well as real world data sets are gathered and used to illustrate concepts.
3. Producing Models Using Probability and Simulation
Students learn to anticipate patterns and produce models for prediction. Students use simulations to model situations that are not practical to replicate using other methods.
4. Statistical Inference
Students learn what can be generalized about the population. Students also consider how to investigate research questions, design a study, and interpret the results.
AP Stats FAQ:
What is AP Statistics? AP Stats is a college level introductory course in statistics. You'll learn how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data.
Why should I take it?
Statistics is the most widely applicable branch of mathematics. It is used by more people than any other kind of math.
How hard is AP Stats?
It's a college course, so the expectations are high. You'll be assigned homework for each class. You'll write more than you compute. You will need to think hard about the concepts.
What is class like?
The course is for students who prefer a student-centered, occasionally lab-based, class with an emphasis on real world connections. It's fast paced, with new material learned nearly every day.
Do you have to be a top rate mathematician?
No. The course does not depend heavily on mathematics, but a strong math background helps. Rather, you are asked to explore and explain concepts with the help of hands-on investigations, while technology lowers the drudgery of computation. Note: Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calc Honors, and very strong Algebra 2/2PAP students can do very well in this course.
Could I take statistics in college? Yes. Statistics is required for most majors, and strongly recommended for others. However, most OHS students receive AP grades high enough to be allowed to skip the introductory course. We're proud of our AP scores here at OHS.
Why should I take it at O'Connor?
At O'Connor, it's a full year course rather than a college semester, so we go at a more reasonable pace. We finish up around spring break, and then really focus & prepare for the AP exam in early May.
Would it be my only math course next year?
It can be for seniors. If you are not a senior, it would be your second mathematics course. Many students take Calculus and Stats together and do well in both. There are also some students taking Pre-Calc PAP & Stats simultaneously.
Who can sign up?
You must have a strong background in Algebra 2 (preferably Alg 2 PAP) and/or
Pre-Calc (regular or PAP) and have the recommendation of your teacher.
Who does sign up?
The course has typically been mostly seniors with about a 2-4 juniors in each class.
Need more info?
Stop by and see Mr. Stanley in F208 if you have questions.