Monday, May 31, 2010
Our findings demonstrated that over half of K students cannot name two out of four parts of the plan, and 33% of students didn’t know what the K Plan was at all. This may be due to the fact that 71% of students surveyed had not discussed the K Plan with their adviser this year, which could explain the lack of awareness students have regarding it. Even if prospective students are constantly told about the K Plan they will soon forget it if it is never mentioned again.
However, when we examined the four parts of the K Plan individually, satisfaction seemed to be par for the course, as seen in the graph below, and the overall satisfaction with Kalamazoo College received an average score of 7.38 on a ranking scale of 1-10 - showing that while the college is not in trouble when it comes to student satisfaction, it definitely has room for improvement.
Delving further into the concept of the K Plan, we discovered that only between 31% and 54% of all sophomores, juniors, and seniors have participated in an internship or externship. While this statistic may seem impressive upon first inspection, we would like to remind readers that internships/externships are one of the major components of the K Plan and that it is interesting that maybe less than half of all students ever engage in one of the “corner stone” achievements Kalamazoo College is supposed to provide.
The K Plan does provide a comprehensive educational experience that surely benefits the students that comes to Kalamazoo College. However, if the college wishes to use this as a marketing tool, it would be in their interest to carry the image of the K Plan throughout the college experience in order for students to identify with the program that is, in one way or another, shaping their lives. The K Plan is as unique as the students it is guiding through college – it is up to the college to make sure it isn’t kicked to the wayside once that first check comes in.
Our recent findings on beverage consumption from Biggby’s and Jazzman’s from Kalamazoo College included that more people go to Biggby’s opposed to Jazzman’s, and also people rated the quality of Biggby’s coffee higher than Jazzman’s. These conclusions were not very surprising due to the fact that Biggby’s is a franchise business that attracts more people opposed to Jazzman’s. Approximately 123 people went to Biggby’s compared to Jazzman’s where only approximately 108 people went to Jazzman’s. These numbers are out of our total sample of participants which is 133. The more people that went to Biggby’s displayed that Biggby’s ratings were higher than Jazzman’s when looking at all our data.
Also our findings included the fewer hours of sleep one gets the more cups of coffee one drinks. This is a reasonable finding due to the fact that coffee has caffeine in it and it helps people stay awake. It can be inferred the more cups of coffee one drinks the less amount of sleep one gets according to our data. This relates back to our earlier findings that people go to Biggby’s more for the better quality of coffee when they have less hours of sleep. In conclusion these are some of the findings from the survey amongst Kalamazoo College pertaining to beverage consumption from Biggby’s and Jazzman’s.
Friday, May 28, 2010
For a SIP using publicly available data, I would gather the statistics needed to enhance a restaurant including the theme, menu, and style of the establishment. I would collect statistics from other experimental methods studies about colors, fonts and themes that are most outstanding to the general eye, and types of foods that please the largest populations. I could test possible hypotheses such as which types of colors seem more attractive depending on gender, or whether or not people are more likely to enter a restaurant if it has a theme or not (i.e. a restaurant with strictly Italian food, Italian décor, menus with some words in Italian, etc. versus a restaurant without a specific categorization). Data would be available on the web at sites such as http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/cep/46/3/461/ or from sections of this book available on the web called Educational Psychology by William R. Reynolds and Gloria E. Miller.
SIP #2For a SIP using original data, I would use the same idea except would collect the data myself via surveys and studies of the customers/possible customers for the restaurant. The surveys would ask questions about colors, fonts, types of food, flavor combinations, etc. One question could ask about key ingredients, for example: “Would you be more likely to try a dish if it highlighted the ingredient A) ginger, B) basil, C) red pepper, or D) cinnamon?.” The same hypothesis tests listed above could be conducted and the sample would be the population within a 5-mile radius of the restaurant.
Here I would be researching numbers based on business week’s MBA program rankings. Based on these rankings and other information, I would find relationships between program ranking and graduates’ average starting salary or cost of program in comparison to acceptance rate. Collecting data from business week and other sources including the school’s websites, there are many possible tests that could be performed. One possible hypothesis test would be to test that the average GMAT score for students entering a top ten program is higher than others. Here I would perform a one-tail test with H-naught being that the score for top ten and others are the same, the alternative being that scores for top ten schools are higher. Information about full-time MBA programs, as well as statistics for all programs, can be found at http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/ . It may also be helpful to consider other similar websites that provide rankings and other information (i.e. cost, graduation rate, average GPA, et.).
Original Data- Is the Cost of a Top MBA Program worth it to You?
For this I would try to send surveys to students at different universities. I would try to see how many business students plan on pursuing an MBA and what kind of jobs are they looking for in the future. I would also try to survey MBA graduates and rate their satisfactions in pursuing their MBA and if possible, compare their salaries with the cost of their MBA program. One hypothesis test could be to test the null hypothesis that students with hopes of becoming a CEO (or other high level position) are equally as likely to pursue an MBA as students with hopes of becoming something else, while the alternative hypothesis would state that students hoping to become a CEO are more likely to want to enter an MBA program. For this data I might use a sample of Michigan universities and attempt to get surveys to major universities such as Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, etc.
A second SIP proposal incorporating the collection of original data, could concern the separation of the social-classes within the city of Kalamazoo. "Is there any one social class in particular prevalent in Kalamazoo?" A demographic could be drawn by compiling information through a census, either through the mail or door-to-door. The primary factor would be income (individual and collective), and concern percentages of Kalamazoo population.
One original SIP idea could be if Grad school is important for Economics majors coming right out of college. It would be interesting to see, especially for me since this is my major and my dilemma, if students are more successful getting jobs if they attend grad school or not after their 4 year college term. You would have to get a list of schools and their Econ majors and follow them post-collegiate years to see what kind of jobs they get, how long it took them to get that job and possibly how much money they make annually.
1st SIP: Presidential Approval
A SIP idea that one could perform would be to examine the differences in presidential approval rates throughout the last couple of years based on Gallup Poll research. One could look at specific periods of time where the approval rating drops, to where it raises, and then look at other variables such as bill proposed or vetoed by the president, congressmen or others speaking out against the president, presidential action overseas, and other different aspects. This could be an interesting topic to look at especially in these times when the country is divided in approval, and to look at what other presidents have to done to improve their rating to watch for current and up and coming presidents making similar decisions or actions.
2nd SIP: The Cost of Entry-Level College Courses
One SIP idea would be to measure different levels of education from surrounding colleges/universities. I could communicate with colleges/universities and research entry-level courses in economics. Schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Western, and Kalamazoo Community College, to see what differences there are in the types of education offered. If possible, I could speak with the head of each department from each school and ask them to distribute a survey asking details about what the course contained, and then a final exam from one of entry-level courses here. The objective of this would be to see if the entry-level courses here are worth the extraordinary difference in price. A null hypothesis one could test is whether there is no difference in the education offered at Kalamazoo College and Michigan State. It would be interesting to see if there is a significant difference in the education level, or what information is being taught.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Here are some sites that could prove useful:
The American Presidency Project: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/turnout.php
The Roper Center's U.S. Election page: http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/presidential/presidential_election.html
U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
Pew Center Election Turnout: http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/ttw/trends_map_data_table.aspx?trendID=19
A possible international spin on this idea would be to find these same data sets for another industrialized nation such as Great Britain or France, and see how the information compares.
My second proposal looks at the effect of the Kalamazoo Promise on teachers and curriculum in middle and high school in comparison to other school districts in communities with similar demographics. Although the Promise has been in effect for a number of years now, there is still relatively little knowledge about its effects. Of the information available, much attention is paid to its effects on students. However, it seems as though little research has been done to see how a program such as the Promise might affect teachers. Therefore, this proposal provides the chance to make original findings that have relevance both locally and nationally.
Methodologically, a stratified random sample of teachers in Kalamazoo Public Schools at the middle and high school levels would be administered a survey that would cover a range of issues including, but not limited to, the extent to which teachers talk about college with their students, personal fulfillment with regards to occupation, number of hours spent preparing outside of the classroom, amount of interaction with parents, and amount of classroom time spent doing college prep. This same survey would then be randomly administered in two or three other school districts within cities with demographics fairly similar to Kalamazoo. A range of hypothesis tests could then be done to see if the Kalamazoo Promise substantially increases the results for teachers in KPS with regards to each of these questions. One could also see if those changes are more likely to occur within groups of teachers that teach certain subjects or have taught for a certain number of years.
Another SIP idea using original collected data would be to do an internship with a big company and survey their employees asking about their happiness and other factors within the company itself. I would test for the hypothesis that an employees happiness is based upon certain factors that would be collected from the survey.
A study that could be collected would be one examining the effects of private college education on getting into higher end graduate schools. You would need to new admittance into high end grad schools. (Schools ranked in the top 50 grad schools) and check which colleges they came from, what their GPA was and scores to get in. You could compare the difference between the public school scores needed and the private school scores needed to get in.
Another possible study would be to see how a typical household is affected by the new national health insurance in Kalamazoo. The study would mainly measure the differences in spending on medication before and after the health bill has come into affect. This would be interesting as one could see the trends in pharmaceutical consumption. To obtain the data, I would perform a sample survey in each of the Kalamazoo neighborhoods at random, perhaps 10 household in each neighborhood. To see if there are statistically significant data I could hypothesis test by comparing the amounts spent on medication before the health care bill was passed and the amount spent after. Another hypothesis test could be to compare each of the neighborhoods as there would be a difference in income .
One SIP topic for using publicly-available data that would interest me would be Ferrari productions. Due to its low production volumes and its famous name, it can do nearly anything technologically that it is inclined to do, making it very expensive. It is also limited. It recently announced its commitment to building future production vehicles like the engine, transmissions, pedal assemblies, steering gear, suspension pieces, body panels out of aluminum. The methodology I might use to study it would be trying to get an internship at Ferrari and be able to be in the manufacturing process and research on where they get the supplies and how much money is used to build these cars. I would also like to know how many Ferrari cars were only produced at a certain period of time. Some possible hypothesis to test would be gas and average income, company’s income and salary, and export and car buyers.
Another SIP topic to collect original data would be finding about alcohol prices. Many different stores will have different prices of alcohol. Some people might not care about the price and might go to the closest store. Others might care about the prices and might need to drive a bit further to save money. The methodology I would use to study it would be something in my neighborhood. I would find out how many miles apart are stores that sell liquor from my neighborhood and go to each store and write down the prices of certain alcohol. I would then type up a survey and go to door to door asking to take the survey. In my survey I would write only a list of specific alcohol and ask them which store they would go to get these items. It will help this study by figuring out if the people who took the survey actually care about the prices or not of alcohol. Some possible hypothesis to test would be gas and income, alcohol price and income, liquor stores and big stores(Meijer, Costco…) , consumer spending and store income.
Furthermore, additional data could be looked into such as if there is any correlation between support for health care reform and general trust in the ability of Congress to pass legislation. Data could also be used to analyze the voting patterns of congressional members by viewing the proportions who voted in line with their political party or whether an impending election (2010) may have had any influence on voting patterns.
Such analysis may then possibly lead to a conclusion as to whether Democrats could have simply strong-armed a health reform bill through congress that included a public option rather than the admittedly watered down “negotiation” bill that has passed. Of course, numbers cannot fully tell the whole story but it would offer great insight to the power of the minority that is now found in the legislature.
These data are easily found on the internet through various means:
Polling Sites: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122969/Many-Americans-Doubt-Costs-Benefits-Healthcare-Reform.aspx
News Sites: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/health_insurance_and_managed_care/health_care_reform/index.html
Another SIP topic would be one where one would collect original data in order to measure the effectiveness of Woodward tutoring programs (including both the after-school PALS program and regular in-class tutors). By partnering with the school, one may be able to obtain data from standardized testing and be able to compare the scores of students who have had no contact with tutors, contact with either in-class tutors or a PALS tutor, or a mixture of both. One would then be able to test a hypothesis test in which one could measure the level of significance to which the tutoring programs have assisted (presumably) in raising students’ scores. With large enough findings, it may allow the programs to receive more money so that they are better equipped to help assist such an underprivileged school demographic. Furthermore, tests could measure the differences seen between boys and girls, income, etc. in order to analyze further socioeconomic factors that a simple test of tutor/no-tutor would leave unexplained.
Ideally, the sample size would be able to be the whole Woodward Elementary student population since obtaining all the data as opposed to just some of it should be a negligible increase in difficulty.
My first proposal for a SIP project is to use public statistics to examine the relationship between poverty levels and race. I would use data on whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and the poverty levels of the groups. For this SIP an example of a null hypothesis is that percent of people who live below the poverty level of blacks and whites are the same, therefore the difference between the two is zero. An alternative hypothesis is that the percent of blacks who live below the poverty line is greater than zero and so the difference between the percent of blacks who live below poverty and the percent of whites is greater than zero. These hypotheses could be repeated using different races because the census provides that information.
My second proposal for a SIP project is to study the percent of blacks in Kalamazoo who live below the poverty line and the percent of whites. I would sample residents of Kalamazoo by doing cluster samples of different blocks within the city to gather original data. Similar to the first proposal, I would have a null hypothesis that two (e.g. Asians and Hispanics) rates of people who live below the poverty line are equal. My alternative hypothesis could be that Hispanics have a higher percentage poverty rate than Asians and so the difference would be greater than zero.
For an original data sip idea, I would target the expenditures made by college students who use their own money or their parents money to pay for things such as clothes, food, alcohol, gas, coffee, etc. After randomly selecting students to participate in this survey, i would ask them for their demographic information including income and gender. Hypothesis testing would include do men or women pay more for these expenditures on their own, do higher incomes mean more parents pay for their kids, do higher income students buy more alcohol than students with lower incomes, etc.
For a SIP with original data I would use the topic of alcohol. I would ask students how much money they spend on alcohol in a given week, if they are a male or female, how much they study per week, what their GPA is, what their family income is, if they have a job or not, etc. Some possible hypotheses to test would be: Men spend more money on alcohol than women, those who study more spend less money on alcohol, students who have a job spend x amount more on alcohol than students who don’t have a job. A possible sample would just be randomly selected students here on campus.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
For a SIP where I could collect data on my own I would analyze the family income of incoming freshman. To study this I could encourage the college to add this to some required form, and keep the results anonymous. I could also survey incoming freshman myself while also keeping the results anonymous. A possible hypothesis is to compare the GPA of freshman to their family income. A possible sample for the survey would be to systematically select every 8th freshman in alphabetical order.
My second proposal for a SIP project involves the person conducting the study to gather their own original data. The topic would be about smoking and college students. The data would be gathered by creating a random sample and then surveying that sample. The survey would include questions such as age, race, family income, state of residence, personal income, hours of sleep, working(y or n), GPA, future plans i.e. grad school etc., year in college,athlete (y or n),smoke (y or n) if a smoker how many packs do you smoke a day, what brand, reason for smoking, date started smoking, want to quit (y or n). Hypothesis tests that could be run include do smokers have a lower or higher GPA, Do smokers have a lower family/personal income, does one state have a higher percentage of smokers, does a particular race smoke more than another, are there less athletes who smoke, do more people want to keep smoking or quit. A sample of students could be obtained either from Kalamazoo college, Western Michigan University, or a combination of the two.
Monday, May 24, 2010
24 May 2010
Proposed SIP Topics
My first proposed SIP topic is using the public data. The public data that I would obtain is the amount of arrests amongst juveniles in the different counties in Michigan. These arrests would include how many times juveniles were arrested and the amount of times for certain types of crimes that took place for an arrest. The methodology I would use to study this data would be to divide the information by counties and compare the counties to another based on the data provided. I would compare the amount of juveniles arrested and the number of juveniles arrested for a particular crime. Some hypothesis tests that I could run are comparing two counties with the amount of arrests to determine which county actually had more arrests. Also I could run hypothesis testing on the number for each specific crime. This concludes my first proposed SIP topic.
My next proposed SIP topic would also be pertaining to juveniles. I would focus on the Kalamazoo Juvenile Home and the inmates would make up my sample. I would randomly survey the inmates and ask them questions about their level of crimes, their retention rate, the different types of crimes they have committed, the duration of their stay in the Juvenile Home and also questions pertaining to demographics. A possible hypothesis test that I would run is comparing the percentage of boys versus girls in the juvenile home and determining if actually there are more boys than girls in the juvenile home. Another hypothesis test that I would consider running is if the average retention rate amongst juveniles is that high compared to the US average. This concludes my second proposed SIP topic.