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Finding Semester Project Data

Students who find their own project data set by March 31st for a spring semester and by October 31st for a fall semester will receive 10 bonus points. Students who do not find their own project data set will be given a data set to use for the semester project.

The semester project data will consist of one qualitative variable and three quantitative variables.

The qualitiative variable should have at least four different cases.

Two of the quantitative variables should have similar values. That is most of the values of both these variables should be about the same size, and some of the values of the first variable should be smaller than the corresponding values of the second variable, while some of the values of the first variable should be larger than the corresponding values of the second variable. These two variables will be your comparable variables. Examples would be a student's grade point average for two different semesters, or the number of points a basketball player scores in two different seasons.

The third quantitative variable can be almost anything, but it must be different than the first two.

Use at most four significant digits for your quanitative data. If a variable has large values, you may need to record the values in thousands, or millions, or billions, etc.

The qualitative variable should have at least four possible values. When using weather data, the outlook is qualitative and four possible values are sunny, rainy, cloudy, and thunderstorms. When looking at movies, the producers are qualitative and four possible values are Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, and Screen Gems.

Some examples of qualitative and quantitative varibles are available in the Qualitative vs Quantitative section of this website. Examples of acceptable project data sets are also found in the Semester Project Information section of this website. You MAY NOT use the data sets in the textbook, or the sample project data sets or data from the sample semester project on the website. You may, however, use data that is similar to any of these data sets.

You may use data from newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals or the internet. Books are not allowed. You will need to state the source of your data. For newspapers, magazines and journals, include the title, the issue of the publication (volume and issue number or date published), and the page numbers. For websites, include the name of the website, the web address, and the date you obtained the data from the website (This is the date the data was accessed). Be specific when referencing websites, if your data is not on the homepage of the website, then you will need to reference the subpage of the website where you found your data.

You should usually have between one and four sources for your data. Usually, you can find all the values for one variable in a single location. Sometimes all the data needed can be found in one location, but most students need to use two or more sources to obtain all the necessary data.

You may use search engines like Google to find data on the internet, but your data source or sources will have to be the website or websites that result from your searches.

You will need to create a single table containing all of your data in an Excel spreadsheet. You should be able to fit all of your data on one or two printed pages. Otherwise, you are doing something very wrong. A completed semester project will include the table containing all your data and the source or sources of information for your data.

Use the following Excel spreadsheet to record the values for your semester project.

Semester Project Data Spreadsheet

Send the completed data spreadsheet as an e-mail attachment to Dr. Gurney at with "Project Data" as the subject. DO NOT encrypt or condense the file.

To receive the 10 bonus points for finding your own semester project data, you must have all the requested data in the correct format along with the source information and the source date. If you do this correctly, you will receive an e-mail saying you have received 10 bonus points for the semester project data. Otherwise, you will receive an e-mail with a list of problems with your data set that must be corrected.

The following are general descriptions of some data sets you could use.

a) The weather for 32 different cities around the country or around the world. Use the high temperature for two different days for two of your quantitative variables, and then use something else like the low temperature or humidity on one day for the third quantitative variable. Use the outlook for one of the days (rainy, sunny, cloudly, thunderstorms) as your qualitative variable. Instead of high temperature, you could use low temperature or precipication.
b) The top 32 players in a sport. For the qualitative variable,you could use the team they play for or their position. For the two similar quantitative variables, you can use the points they score in two different games or two different seasons. Instead of points scored, you could use something like assists per game or their scoring percentages in two different seasons. Something else like salary or weight could be used as the third quantitative variable. DO NOT USE NFL QUARTERBACKS - Since there are only 32 teams, there are usually not many more than 32 quarterbacks playing in a given season. College quarterbacks, however, would be fine to use..
c) The top 32 money-making movies for two consecutive weeks. Use the production company as the qualitative variable. Use the money earned during each of the two weeks as your comparable quantitative variables. Use the number of theaters or the number of tickets sold for one week as the other quantitative variable. Something similar could be done for music or video games.
d) Look at stock prices for 32 different companies. The qualitative variable could be the type of company such as retail, manufacturing, software, mining, etc. The two similar quantitative variables could be the stock prices on two consecutive days. You could also look at changes in stock prices over two consecutive days or over two consecutive months. The third quantitative variable could be the average stock price for the last quarter or last year, or the number of shares sold.
e) Collect your own data. Just make sure you have one qualitative variable with at least four possible values and three quantitative variables, and that two of the quantitative variables are measuring similar things. IF YOU DO GATHER YOUR OWN DATA, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DATA COLLECTION METHOD DOES NOT VIOLATE THE RIGHTS OR WELFARE OF PEOPLE OR ANIMALS.

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