COVID-19 in Statistics
March 18, 2020
It feels as though we are flying blind right now. We really have no idea how prevalent the COVID-19 infection rate is in La Plata County, in Colorado, in fact, in the United States. It has been reported that the federal government is going to have a million tests available to medical professionals to determine if, in fact, people are infected. Even with these tests, though, we still won’t know how many people in the general public are infected. What we may be able to do is determine what percent of the population who present with the symptoms are infected with COVID-19, not how prevalent it is in the population as a whole.
So, what if the testing kits were used to try to answer that question? What if we picked random people in a geographic area and used some of these tests to survey randomly selected people to determine the infection rate? How many would we want to sample? How accurate would our results be? As importantly, how comforting would it be to the public as a whole to have an idea how common this virus is in the population?
If you are looking for a reason to get your statistics books out and crunch some numbers, this would be an excellent hypothetical to mull over. Let me know what you come up with.
Statistics is the mathematics of the collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data, especially the analysis of population characteristics by inference from sampling.In this class, students will examine the basic elements of probability, the binomial and normal distributions, measures of center and spread, and linear correlation.Students will measure central tendencies of data, explore data distributions, and will examine bivariate data and frequency tables.Students will develop strategies for collecting data. Students will learn how to test hypotheses and how to make statistical inferences from data.Students will test results for significance at various levels of confidence.The chi-square, normal, and t distributions will be studied. Students will learn how to use technology as well as statistical tables to do their analyses.It is the goal of the course to teach students to improve their critical thinking and to learn to make judgments based on sound statistical theory. A graphing calculator (such as the TI-83/84) is required. This class is reserved for juniors and seniors.
Prerequisite: Algebra 2
Students will need a composition notebook, loose-leaf paper and 3 ring binder, pencil, and graphing calculator for each class day. Composition notebooks can be purchased from the math department for $1 and calculators can be rented from the department on a first come first serve basis ($20/year or $0.50/class period for graphing calculator). We highly encourage students to buy their own because we have a limited number.
See the Math Department home page for information regarding getting additional help outside of class.