Sunday, June 5, 2011

Advice for future Statistics students

1. Choose a topic that you are really interested in so that you are always eager to come up with ideas and excited to find out the results. Having a list of topics to discuss your friends (not only your partner) and your professor will help you a lot.
At the same time, make sure your survey questions are relevant to the participants so as to increase response rate.

2. If you use an online survey, send it out (roughly 3 weeks)early to a large sample and be prepared for low response rate (15%-30% is not a surprise). Show people the benefits of completing your survey; you might want to include some incentives (candies, pizzas etc). Do not hesitate to send our reminders.

3. Set up a lot of numeric variables and equations so it will be much easier to find correlations in the end. Keep finding comparable data from other resources to do hypothesis testings in your final report. Give yourself a few days to work on computation and writing the report. Be clear and organized by using graphs and data supported by your own analysis.

4. Have trouble understanding materials in class, talk to your professor as soon as you can. Chulk Stull would love to help you.

Goodluck! It's a fun class if you love what you do so make a good choice ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advice for future students

1. Pick a very interesting topic to you. Be creative and don't just grab the first thing that comes to mind or sounds the easiest to do.

2. MAKE SURE you get a large sample, because small samples can give you data that isn't necessarily representative of the population.

3. When choosing a method of obtaining data, whether survey, direct observation, etc. be overcritical of your method and try to eliminate any bias.

4. Get as much data as possible that is related to your subject, you may find new correlations or interesting trends that will make the report much more informative.

Jake Olds

Friday, June 3, 2011

Advices for the later students,

1. Find something new and interesting. It always nice to do something interesting and do something that no one else does it. Sometimes, you can find some new result with the old topic, but it always to discover the new topic. And choose someone you like to work with.

2. Never stop in the middle of the analysis. Do a little bit every week. If you stop, it’s kind of hard to pick up the ideas why you start this and it’s kind of hard to re-remember the reason you like the topic you choose.

3. If you do the survey with the e-mail, please send much number than you expected. The percentage of the people who will answer the survey though email is much smaller than you expected.

4. If you find something goes wrong during the research, talk to Dr.Stull as soon as possible. The suggestions will be really useful and it will save a lot of time doing nothing.

5. Besides, Good Luck!

For the Future students:

The research project is a fun experience. However, you will have moments when you love doing it so much and other times when you would like to throw it out your window. It is important to carefully choose your partner and come up with a topic that both of you like. When designing the survey make questions that are numerical and that will give you enough data to compute, do hypothesis testing and draw significant conclusions. Also, when doing an online survey, be careful with the websites as you may think they are for free, but after collecting some few responses they will ask you for money in order to access the answers. Finally, but not last, take a lot of time in order to do this. Believe me, it takes longer than you expect and you do not want to be writing the final report few hours before the deadline.


If you're reading this advice page then you are already well on your way to being successful in this class. Believe it or not this term will fly right by you so here is some advice I have for keeping up with the pace.

1. Keep it simple!...the simpler your project idea, the easier it will be to interpret results and understand your findings.

2. Research something you are really interested in, the more interested you are in your project the more thought you'll put into collecting your data and analyzing your results.

3.This project is extremely time consuming so the best thing to do when collecting data is to keep track of information as you go along, especially if you're working by yourself.

This project taught me a lot about patience and the importance of direct language. They way you word a question has a tremendous impact on the types of responses you get and the work you have to put into analyzing those responses later on. Also, try to think of creative ways to get your surveys out to people. Try to weigh the pros and cons of each method of collecting data. For example, my partner and sent our surveys through random emailing and collected our data online,this saved us some time, but we were not able to get 100 responses so our final grade suffered.If I could have I would have asked more questions about how to interpret the numbers because correct calculations aren't enough if you don't know what they mean. Looking back I would have followed all of the advice I am giving you now and I would have received a better grade as a result.

For future students in Business Stats

If I were to retake this course, I would give my project more time to develop. We thought that the survey would be very easy to complete yet we kept receiving red marks on every draft we turned in. The truth is, your survey will never be complete. You can always add more. This is why you must keep your field of interest small so you can analyze a lot of data retaining to only that field. Also be prepared to meet with your partner a lot and accept that the two of you think differently. Be sure to always be ready for errors and things not working out as planned. I know for me, barely anyone answered on of my questions. But in the end, it turned out for the better because them not answering the question actually made a bolder statement and allowed us to draw bigger conclusions. With these in mind, your project can be easily accomplished.


My first advice for future students is the obvious, most difficult aspect of the project, that is, keeping on top of scheduling and collect data as soon as possible. This really allows the project to move forward without too much hassle. Secondly, I think that if you chose a topic out of convenience as opposed to something you actually find interesting, the project will seem far more painful than it needs to. Finally, really consider the questions you ask. While you do not want to lead respondents towards an answer, really consider the aims of your project and how the questions relate to one another. More focused questions allow for better, more focused and significant conclusions for the final paper.

For the future stats students out there

Coming into this class, I thought stats was going to be very easy. Although the class was taught at a very understandable level, I recommend as soon as possible, finding and working through extra problems so that when it comes to doing it for your project, youll be more than ready. Also, choosing a partner that has the same time schedule as you will really help the group harmony. It also helps if you try to research something that your group is interested in. The key point here is that if you and your partner are interested, the project will seem less like a chore, and more like honest research that could be fun. Don't procrastinate from the beginning because the cycle only gets worse as it gets towards the end, and there are real deadlines.


As you embark on this educational journey through the world of data collection, I offer you a few easy to follow pointers to success. First, do not let the idea of time provide you with a sense of comfort. Meaning, collect your data as soon as possible. Once your survey is ready to be distributed, distribute it. Second, shoot for the stars. Only completing the required amount of work will not give you an A+. I advise spending quality time on writing assignments to let Chuck know you really do care about this course. Third, collect a lot of data. It cannot be any simpler than that. The more data you collect the higher your grade will be. These are the tricks to trade. If you master pointers, Chuck will love you and you will love your grade.

Student spending vs. Income

Advice for Future Students

For future students -

I think the most important thing for this project is for students to create their survey and hand it out as soon as possible. This leaves more time for the student(s) doing the project to toy around with the data and try to decipher as much useful information as they can out of their data. In particular, regression is an important device that students need practice at in order to refine their skills regarding analyzing regressions. The more time students leave between the time they finish the survey and the actual due date for the project, the less stressful (and more enjoyable) the project will be.

For Future Students

For future students, the most important thing to do if you want success on this project is to start early. Try not to wait till the last moment to finish assignments or collect data. Also make sure to have a smart and responsible partner who will do their part in the project. The project will be much easier if you pick a topic that really interests you.

Findings in my Stat Project

I conducted a survey trying to gauge why students originally decided to choose Kalamazoo College and how satisfied they currently are with that decision. Certain factors we looked at were the effects that financial aid, sports, and academics had on their decision. Factors we examined regarding overall satisfaction level with the school were the student's preference to attend college closer to home, amount of financial aid received, and number of extracurricular activities.

Our data yielded interesting results that are very revealing about Kalamazoo College. Using regression, I was able to determine whether there were positive correlations between satisfaction level and other factors, and the importance of certain factors that we tested regarding a student's preference in choosing Kalamazoo College.

Our findings clearly indicated to us that students who chose Kalamazoo College for academics or for sports reasons were, on average, highly satisfied with Kalamazoo College whereas those students who chose Kalamazoo College for financial aid reasons were, on average, much less satisfied. Other interesting finds that we discovered was that a student's GPA had no correlation with the student's overall satisfaction level with the school, indicating that GPA was not a determining factor in overall satisfaction with the school. Also, we were able to determine that student's who preferred to attend a school closer to home tended to be far less satisfied with Kalamazoo College than those who had no preference in whether or not they attended a school closer to home, showing us that distance to home is an important factor to some students, but has no effect on others.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Advice to Students

The most important advice I can give is to make your survey as finely tuned as possible. It may take several drafts and test runs but it’s worth the effort in order to have a survey that asks the right questions and is clear to those taking it. This will make analyzing the data much easier for you later on and will avoid unusable responses. When you write your survey know exactly what you are looking for so you don’t forget to collect a vital piece of information. It’s also a good idea to start early and send out your survey with plenty of time for people to respond and even more time for you to organize and analyze it.

Some Wise Advice

Hey future business stats students, the research project is an interesting process and can go smoothly if you manage your time properly. Start collecting data, either electronically or by handing out surveys, as soon as you can. This will help you collect a lot of data randomly and give you plenty of time to complete you analysis. When making your survey, be sure to ask questions that give you good variables to compare when doing hypothesis testing and regression equations. Also make sure you have enough interesting variables to work with in your survey. Also like any school related task, do not procrastinate!


Future business stats students I just want to give you three important pieces advice. Firstly, carefully choose a partner that you know and make sure both of you will commit to put time and effort in the project. Establish expectations and goals during your first meeting. This is extremely important because if you don’t have close communication with your partner it will be hard to work together and complete the project. Also make sure that you and your partner have a clear understanding of each section of the project so that each of you could help each other in case one doesn’t understand the concepts. If both of you have trouble with (confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, regression and other problems) make sure you ask your friends or go to Chuck’s office, he will be always there to help you.
Secondly, please make sure your survey is very clear, concise, and well designed. This is really important because if you don’t have a well-designed survey your sample is not going to take your survey seriously and they will put unreasonable answers. Also, make sure you put thought and time into your survey questions and make sure they are related to your topic so you can find useful findings. If you do this, it will save you time and it will make your statistical analysis easier. In addition to the survey, please make sure you distribute them as soon as possible and start collecting data right away, since putting data in excel takes a lot of time.
Thirdly, please make sure you do every single assignment Chuck gives you. Each single assignment is part of the big project so put time, thought and commitment. Also please make sure you find several articles related to your project so you can have interesting comparisons to your findings. Finally, do not procrastinate and think positive all the time even if the project is not coming as you want. And remember this project is designed to apply what have you learn in class. Enjoy.

Future Students

The advice I would give to future students would be to start as early as possible with your surveys. By doing this, you can assess if you will need to hand out more surveys to get a more random result, and many other things. Also, choose your questions carefully so when it comes time to do your hypothesis tests you have relatable topics that you can compare.


I advise everyone while you are writing your survey to look at it primarily from the standpoint of statistical data and in a way that makes it easy to draw conclusions. Make your questions close ended and without any reason to respond with opinions or long answers. Ask What questions make it easier to draw large conclusions or see strong correlations?
Also, i would advise students to not procrastinate. The collecting data process is a lot longer than one would think, even if you do it online. I advise to start way in advance so you are sure to secure the response rate you hope for.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

K students, how often do you leave the bubble?

A study conducted by students in the Business Statistics class has revealed interesting findings about the travelling habits of K College students. On average, K students gather in a group of four to get off campus 8 times every two weeks. During that period of time, each student spends roughly $13.3 on transportation (about 13% of their pocket money).

Why?Among the top reasons why students get off campus, eating out (5 times a month) is by far the most popular, followed by parties (weekly), shopping (3 times a month) and volunteer work (twice a month). Nearly 92% of the survey respondents said they have gone out to eat at least once during the last two weeks. While students appear to party more often than doing shopping, the percentage of people who go shopping is actually higher with 78% versus 71%. Bars and clubs do not seem to be a good idea for parties since only one third of the respondents have visited such place in the last two week. This happens to be equal with the student participation rate in volunteer activities.

Where? For many K students, Crow’s Nest and Burdicks have been familiar names beside Panera, Qdoba or Saffron, etc when it comes to dining out. About 27% of the respondents claim Crow’s Nest to be their favorite restaurant and 13.6% chose Burdicks. There is less variation for shopping locations with Meijer (41%), Crossroad Mall and Target being the most visited addresses. Finally, if you want to chill out at a bar or club, visit Metro, Beer Exchange and Waldo’s since you are more likely to come across a few friends.

When? Friday and Saturday after 4PM are not surprisingly the time students get off campus most often. Generally speaking, more than half of the students leave campus on Friday (50.61%) and Saturday (55.43%) around midnight. It is noticeable that students get off campus on Monday from 4 to 7PM as much as they do at the same time on Saturday (34.94%).

Shuttle service & Bike renting

The study looks at how K students support a shuttle service to the airport, the train station and common places off campus in relation to their travelling habits. While nearly 43% of the students drive their own cars to get off campus and 62% ask friends for a ride or borrow a friend’s car, more than 77% of the population want a school bus service to common places off campus. Only 11% use bus, which suggests that the bus system at K might not be highly accessible to the students. They also expressed their willingness to pay $1.58 per round-trip if such a shuttle were provided. It is interesting that though 35% of the students took a plane to travel outside Kalamazoo over Winter quarter and Spring break, only 32% would like to use a school airport shuttle. Bus service to train station receives much more support at 55%.

About 66% of you might have known about the “Borrow a bike” program at DeWater yet only 12% have ever used the service. Among 34% of those who do not know about the program, a big proportion of 76% indicated that they would consider renting a bike. This once again suggests that students need more accessible means of transportation to get around and become better involved in the K community.

Given such information about the students’ travelling habits, the school government could consider implementing an efficient program that would meet the student need and encourage them to enjoy off-campus life.

Research Project Advice

Carefully design your survey and make sure your questions are both clear and concise so that more people will actually answer them. Keep in mind that people want to put in as little effort as possible when taking your survey, so questions requiring textual answers may be skipped by many respondents. Also, try to think of specific variables you would like to compare and design your survey to ensure that you will obtain the variables you need from the questions that you ask in your survey. Sorting through data and arranging it to be suitable to perform statistical tests can take longer than expected, so make sure you have ample time to do so.

Chuck also gives different assignments pertaining to the research project throughout the quarter. Putting thought and effort into those assignments will help you complete your final paper (when you complete those assignments you basically finish a section of the paper).

This is a large project and I think it is very important to find a good partner. Make sure both you and your partner clearly understand concepts learned in class (confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, regression, etc.). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask Chuck. It is important that you and your partner both clearly understand how to do the assignment so that you can divide the work with your partner efficiently.

Should K Change Its Language Departments?

Foreign language study is a prominent part of the Kalamazoo College curriculum. All students are required to take 3 units in a second language (through the Intermediate Level 103 or 201, depending on the language). In addition, 89% of students surveyed indicated that they have studied abroad or plan to study abroad and most study abroad programs require proficiency in a foreign language. Due to the importance of foreign language education at Kalamazoo College, a recent survey of 79 students at Kalamazoo College was conducted to determine student satisfaction with the college’s foreign language departments and possibly identify any improvements that can be made within the departments.

Overall, students rated that they are satisfied with the current language requirement (average desired unit requirement=2.98) and the language departments as a whole (rated 3.58 on a scale from 1=Very Dissatisfied to 5=Highly Satisfied).

Although students appear generally satisfied, the study also found support for expanding the language departments. On average, most students indicated that they had a high desire to learn languages not currently offered at Kalamazoo College (rated 3.81 on a scale from 1=No Desire to 5= Very High Desire). The study also supported that students have around the same level of desire for learning languages not currently offered at Kalamazoo College as they do for improving in languages at Kalamazoo College. Students listed 19 different languages that they would like to learn that are currently not offered, and the top 3 most frequently listed were Italian, Arabic and Russian. On average, students who were willing to pay for private language lessons or lessons in languages currently not offered by the college said they would pay approximately $115 per quarter. Therefore, it could be beneficial to conduct further studies on adding more components to the language departments.

Alternatively, rather than expanding the language departments to include more languages, more emphasis could be placed on certain aspects within the language courses already offered. Students rated that they have achieved between some proficiency and high proficiency in the languages they have learned at Kalamazoo College. However, the study found that out of 4 different areas (speaking, reading, writing, and understanding speech) students felt the least proficient in writing in foreign languages learned both before Kalamazoo College and at Kalamazoo College. These results could indicate a need for greater focus on developing writing skills within foreign language courses or the development of separate writing-intensive foreign language courses.