Journal Assignment –


Journals are due Tuesday, Nov 3rd. You should include

1)   HIV vaccine

2)   Plots and final numbers from 1000 times coin flipping Excel sheet and either plots from dice rolling Excel sheet or Shark attack assignment (bonus for shark and dice)

3)   Lottery assignment

4)   Final Project proposal



The Final Project proposal should be a paragraph describing the following

If you are not sure which of your multiple amazing and interesting ideas to actually pursue, please email me for advice.


1)   The general topic you want to address.

2)     What question(s) you are trying to answer.

3)   How you think you will do this.  If you are doing a survey, a preliminary draft of survey questions is good.  If you are doing a project involving finding data on the internet, go ahead and start looking for data and see what sites might be useful. (Under External Links on Blackboard there are a few websites that have data, but there is much, much, much more out there.)  Availability of data might help you decide which topic to do or which questions you want to answer.

4)   What charts do you imagine plotting at the end? (e.g. a scatterplot with saccharine content per gram on the x-axis and price of toothpaste on the y-axis), or a pie chart of the percent of the population that prefers each of 5 major peanut butter brands).

5)   Who are you going to work with, if you are planning to work with someone.


None of this the above is a binding commitment, but it should help you get started.  I will expect an update on your project every time journals are collected from now on.  If you want to do a survey, we will be start talking about surveys next week, but you may want to read Chapter 19 in advance.





Below are expectations and a grading rubric for the final project.  This is going to be so much fun!






Expectations for final project


The final project should include a 5-10 page typed report and a poster.  The poster can either be on posterboard or on tri-fold science presentation style cardboard.  Posters will be displayed at the Chance Fair during our exam slot.


The report should be organized like a scientific paper.   It should include the following sections:


1)   Background.  This section is your introduction and should include general information about your topic, motivation for studying it, and your objective for the project (i.e. what questions you are trying to answer).

2)   Methods.  Here you should describe how you collected data or how you searched for it on the web / in the library and (if applicable) a description of sources you used.  Save the actual references for the reference section.  If applicable, you can describe statistical tests you ran here in this section or in the results section.

3)   Results.  This is where you describe what you found out.  Includes plots and (if appropriate) tables of data in this section. 

4)   Discussion.  Interpret your results.  Include a discussion of the weaknesses of the study, possible sources of error or bias, and what you might like to do further or differently.  (DonÕt worry, I wonÕt make you follow up on your ideas for further work!)

5)   Conclusion.  This is just a very short summary

6)   References including websites


The poster should include the same information and organization of the paper, but vastly condensed and much more visual.  A sentence or two for each section is plenty, and you can merge sections.   Plots and pictures should dominate.  Neatness and visual presentation matter.  References do not need to be included on the poster.


The grade will be derived as follows:


Poster: 20%

Background: 10%

Methods: 10%

Results: 10%

Discussion and Conclusion: 15%

Plots, Charts, Figures, and / or Tables (must include at least three) 15%

Statistical Correctness including correct use of vocabulary 15%

References 5%


Clarity of writing, spelling, and grammar count.