Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Study on College GPA

A recent study done at Kalamazoo College showed that work have a little or no effect on their college average GPA. Many other variables such as time spent on studying, time spent on clubs or organization, high school GPA and money spent in a quarter, which could potentially affect students GPA were tested. Money spent in last quarter had a negative correlation with the GPA. Student who earned a significant amount of money mostly spend their money on entertainment so they had less amount of time to focus on their study. So it does not matter if you work more but make sure if you have a lot of money and you good grades then saving is the best option.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


   A piece of advice to incoming students would be to make sure you start working on your research project as soon as possible.  Ten weeks seems like it's going to be a long time, but the end of the quarter comes up on you quicker than a nascar fan puts on jean shorts.  In order to combat this problem it is imperative to start your project as soon as possible.  Another piece of golden advice that I want to emphasize is to put your survey through one extra trial run.  I realize only one trial run is what is expected, and you probably will feel like your survey is 10 times better after the first trial run and revision (because it is) but there are going to be a lot of little things that you could do to tighten up your survey that you won't catch in the first trial run.  Those little things add up on such a large project like this one and could adversely impact your final grade.  So, under the condition that you have put in the time and have constructed a decent survey, an extra 30 minutes on a tuesday evening could very well be the difference between an A and a B.  Also, make sure to collect a lot of numerical data because categorical data (yes/no, pass/fail) is only so useful for this project.

  An interesting idea for this research project could be to measure the socializing of K students based on what dorm they live in.  To do this you could measure how long K students spend with others from different dorms and how many friends they have who don't live in their dorm.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Many things would go differently if I could do this over. First off I would get a more specific hypothesis, with a broader target range with many variables, in order to give me both more quantitative and qualitative data to make the project more substantial. I would also start the project right away. As in the very first day the project is given to us. With so many things being thrown at you in this class, this is difficult, but if at all possible this situation would be ideal. A great thing to do would be to give the actual survey some deep thought. “How ambitious did I want to be? How in depth that I want to be?” It is more than fine to exit the K bubble and see what you can do with the outside community. One thing I think would be a good idea to try, would be to compare the popularity and recognition people have about Kalamazoo College, and then be analyze the results and compare/contrast all the factors that might play a role all the degree of recognition and popularity, both abroad, out of state, and in state, finally further down to immediate county. By checking the all these different dimensions, maybe we can figure out what is going on, for there to be a difference in recognition throughout the world.

Advice For Future Business Statics

After taking this class and completing the project, I realized that there are some things that I did well and some that I would have done better. Therefore, I’ll list a few of these together for future Business statistics students to consider and hopefully, my suggestions will be helpful to them as they do their projects.

1) To begin with, remember that you will be working on the project for the whole quarter. So choose a topic that interests you. There is nothing frustrating like struggling to do something that you are not even interested in for the whole quarter.

2) Do a thorough research on your topic of interest and read a lot of other studies that have already been done that are related to your research question. This will help you in designing your questionnaire, as you will get new ideas of the kind of questions to ask.

3) Start working on your project from the word GO! (When the professor give you the go ahead sign). It may seem like a whole quarter is a long time but don’t be deceived. Don’t take the early process for granted, the design of your questionnaire is really important and determines the kind of data you will get back which means that it will basically determine your whole project. So make sure you spend a lot of time making sure your questionnaire is good and clear.

4) Get a lot of numeric data. This is really important because most of the statistical analysis you will be doing requires numeric data. This means that you should design your questionnaire in a way that will allow you to get as much numeric data as possible. Again, make sure you phrase your question clearly so as not to confuse the people answering it. Also it will be good for you because you will get the data you need.

5) The professor is always there to help. Don’t panic when thins are not going the right way or if you are confused about something. Ask the professor to see of you are on the right track, he is interested in seeing you come up with great results from your project.

Overall, Don’t stress. Keep working on the project anytime you can so that you are not under pressure on the day you are supposed to submit it. The project may be 20% of your final grade but just take your time to enjoy it and learn from it. By the time you are done with it, you will realize that you now clearly understand most of the concepts you learnt in class by applying them in the project. Potential topics you could look at would be 1.) The social like of a K-College student; looking at how often they go out or how much time they spend doing non-academic stuff. And 2) Students satisfaction with the food in the Cafeteria; you could compare the number of students who are not on the meal plan to those who are as well as vegetarians and vegans.


For future students I would say that you should survey people electronically and send out surveys to at least 300 people. Our response rate was about 30% so that will get you about 90 surveys. You might actually want to survey more than 300 people just to be safe. You might also want to go over the research project with the professor Stull before submitting it and make sure your project addresses everything the professor is looking for. Make sure you start early and make steady progress every week so that you won’t have to rush and finish the whole 50 page project all a day before the deadline. Having a reliable partner will help do this so make sure you don’t pick a partner who might drop the class, rendering you entirely responsible for the project.

Choose a research project that you are interested in and that will benefit the Kalamazoo College community. In my case that was studying the relationship between sleep quantity and sleep quality and academic performance of K students. Doing the research project I also thought of another possible research topic related to student academic performance. I read an article recently that a student’s with more educated parents will be more likely to do better in school and such a relationship existed even before the student entered first grade. This might be an interesting area to study.


Start working on your survey at the beginning of the quarter! Distributing the survey takes a lot of time, and it would be wise to leave yourself plenty of time so people have time to answer it and so you can find enough people to respond. Pick a topic that you like, otherwise you will get bored of it really quickly! When you choose a partner, make sure you work with someone you are compatible with. It is not necessarily the best idea to work with one of your best friends.
My partner and I looked at the spending and saving habits of Kalamazoo College students, which was interesting, but we could not find very many connections between variables. It might be interesting to use that topic but look at more demographics, like race, athletes vs non-athletes, etc to see if different groups of students use their money differently. Also, it might be interesting to look at the eating habits of students. For example: do certain groups of students eat in the cafeteria more? Do certain students eat at restaurants more/how much do they spend?


If you have to get a complete class list, don't go to the registrar because they'll say they can't give it to you. Just go to your email and type in "2011" or "2012" and it'll give you the names of everyone in the class. Make sure your questions are related to each other and are meaningful, because then analyzing them afterward will be easier. We had collected a lot of information that was not related to our main topic of Landsea which was interesting, but could not really be used to show correlation or any type of relationship.
Future projects could also go along with the Landsea theme, maybe comparing people who went to Killarney, Algonquin, and the Adirondack Mountains.

Advice for Future Students

The first piece of advice I have for students doing this project is to really focus on choosing a topic they find interesting. This project involves a lot of work and a significant amount of time will be invested in the project throughout the entire quarter. A genuine interest in Landsea and the reasons people went on or did not go on the trip helped to make my project much more enjoyable. I would also advise future students to keep their responses and data organized. Establish a firm cut off line for when the survey will close and make sure to use only one set of data. Lastly, using the calculations appendix as a way of double-checking your analysis worked well for my project. We did our hypothesis testing and then went through the problems again in order to create our calculations appendix. We spotted some significant mistakes but also a lot of small ones that we would not have noticed if we hadn’t thoroughly reviewed our work.

A new and interesting research project might be to research inter-year relationships and connections. This could include measuring how many hours’ people spend per day or week with people outside their year.

Words of wisdom to the young Grasshoppers

The number one thing i would stress to the next class, is get handy with excel because it will make doing the calculations much easier, next do not procrastinate because if you do this, you will be up all night the day before its due, and you will want to pull your hair out. And last make sure you have a topic that is easy for you to get numerical data for because its impossible to do without numerical data.
A cool and interesting topic will be to see why people chose the major they do, i feel that topic will resolve in some interesting findings

Advice on the Research Project

Word of Advice

Take the time at the beginning of the project to really plan out what your study will ask. This will help you while writing your survey. It will also save time while analyzing the data in that you will actually have a sense of which statistics you are looking for.

Stay organized—Keep all of your original data in one place. When breaking the data down and further analyzing, keep it as organized as possible.

Allow for plenty of time. The further you get into the project, the more questions you might want to answer. However, if you wait until it is too late, you may not have enough time to do that extra work.

If you are working with a partner, it will be important that you each know exactly what you will do in the project. Plan who will do specific parts of the project to avoid confusion.

Finally, try to enjoy working on the project! (It helps if your study aims at helping a group of people.) The better your attitude, the more effort you will likely put into the project. The more effort you put into the project, the better it will turn out!

Possible Topic

For me, coming up with a topic was one of the hardest parts of this project. Take the time to really think of something that is of interest to you or that will at least motivate you to work. With that being said, it might be interesting to look at whether or not K students find the education they are receiving worth the cost of tuition.

Advice for Research Project

In order to gain the most from this project, and get the best grade, there are a few ideas that should be thought about before-hand. When thinking of an idea for your research, you should find an idea that will be both beneficial and enjoyable. Spending countless hours and conducting research for a project that you don't find interesting or that couldn't help people within an economic and business capacity is not ideal for attempting to do well on this project. When deciding a sample size, make sure to go over and beyond the requirement. Having a sample size of (100+) is something that I would recommend and it would provide more data for your project. Spending as much time as possible throughout the term with your project is also recommended. Waiting until the last week, or not being aware of the deadline, is something to look out for.

A topic that I would recommend coulb be something regarding tuition and how much students are actually paying to come to Kalamazoo College.

Advice and a potential research topic

Mimic the survey questions of other studies so you can make comparisons between your data and the data of other studies (this is a critical portion of the project and worth many points). Additionally, be sure to collect as much quantitative data as possible (do not limit your survey to categorical responses): this is a statistics class – statistics test theories with numbers.

A potentially interesting topic to research:
What’s the value of a Kalamazoo College education? Look at wages of K students and K alumni; look at satisfaction with career placement (i.e. did K set people up for the job they wanted); look at career options per alumni (how many career options did K provide alumni?), etc.
Here's a potentially helpful link:

advice & suggestions

1. plan and learn Excel early
2. don't discuss before you know what you will be talking about
3. find relevant scholarly articles/ surveys/ profs who have done similar things in the past
4. don't forge results or exaggerate data
5. talk to Dr. Stull if you don't know what to do

1. sleeping quality and GPA
2. sleeping quality/time and stress/depression
3. how much are you willing to spend to buy sleeping time, study time, etc.
4. how the new ACSJL program affect student's life
5. awareness and satisfaction on student activities fee every quarter

This is a great class. Take it.

Advice for Future Students

The first thing I would suggest to future students is that they work with a partner. There is quite a bit of work to do, but it’s much more manageable with a partner. I would also suggest that you don’t wait until the last second for any part of this project; you’re going to want to get to it as soon as you can.

Don’t forget to send out more surveys than you want to get back too, because there’s a good chance that some people won’t reply. Send it out early too, that way you can gauge your response rate without having to be in a rush.

One more piece of advice I have is pick a subject that you’re actually interested in because it makes the work go by so much faster. For me personally, I had more motivation to get the results because I was just curious to see what they were. Good luck future B-Stats students!

For Future Business Statistics students

Here are some advice for you guys
1. Have a partner for your project. It is the best that you could have your friend to be your partner. I think two partners who can understand and help each other will help your project go more smoothly and easier. A partner will help your project a lot.
2. Start the project as soon as possible. Do not rush and save everything for the last minutes. This project has a lot of details and takes long time to finish so do not postpone to do it. If you could have a plan ahead, you will be fine.
3. When choosing the topic for the class, choose something that you really like. You will have to follow that idea for at least 1 month so pick the topic that you are strongly interested in.
About a new topic, a study could be about the schedule system in K-College. Are students satisfied with the schedule?With quarter system, 10 weeks for academic is too much pressure and the length of time is not enough for students to improve grades and to enjoy class. Besides, the school is ended in June, internship is started in May. Getting out of school late will really affect students. Should there be any changes for the school schedule?

Advice for future students

Go to blog and read what advice other student had for the project. It will help a lot. This project takes a lot of time than one can think. While preparing survey make sure you have a lot of questions which will give you numeric data rather than categorical data. Do a test survey with 2 or 3 people with your sample and write it down on a excel spreadsheet. It will help to know if you need any more data or you need to ask other questions in your survey.

When you write your final research paper, go to Chuck and ask regularly about the hypothesis testing part. You never know where is your mistake on hypothesis testing.

Most of the students do research on topic related to campus employment. Choose a topic that is not very common in the class. A potential topic could be about the new quad that is going to be built in the DOW parking lot.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Here are a few things to consider/ tips for embarking on this project:

1. Do it with a partner - this project will take up a lot of your time, so being able to share the work with someone helps. Make sure your partner is someone who you like and someone you enjoying being with, because you are going to spend a lot time outside of class working on this project.

2. Choose a topic both of you are interested in. You spend so much time putting together a survey and analyzing your results that it all seems easier when you are researching something you actually want to research.

3. Start everything earlier than you think you need to start. It gives you more time to get your desired amount of responses. It allows you ample time to do calculations and meet with Chuck about issues that may come up before your project goes too far for you to turn back.

4. Go to Chuck when you need clarification, he gives great advice and really bring clarity and focus to what you are doing.

A possible project could be to research students satisfaction with Kalamazoo's dining services and our meal plan options.


Future students that take Business Statistics will need to have a partner if they want to be able to be doing anything other than schoolwork on the weekends. The vast amount of work that is required makes it very hard to do it alone. Choosing your partner is a very important decision. Pick someone that you can trust and will do their fair share of work. Getting along with your partner is also key and can make the project go along a lot more smoothly.

Picking a subject that is entertaining to both you and your partner will go a long way in how devoted and how much you care about the project. It is much easier to work on something you're interested in rather than something that absolutely bores you. By doing this, you will be able to devote your time in a more effective manner and most likely do better as well.
Potential topics that could be chosen on campus involve the new athletic complex and the new justice center grant. Students could be polled on how they think the money could or should have been used and whether they support the new initiatives.

Business Stats Advice

The most important thing for future students is to pick a partner for the project. There is much more work than it seems which is much easier when shared between partners. However, it is vital that your partner is someone who you will be able to work with for ten weeks. I would also advise picking a partner who is willing to work hard and put time into the project. Starting early is crucial, make sure to pick a topic that you are interested in. Also, make sure partners should write the final paper together to ensure the paper flows well.

The topic chosen should be one that both partners in the group are interested in. It also helps to pick something that is interesting to the sample. Since there is a new athletic complex being built over the summer, a research project involving opinions about the complex could be very interesting.

Project Advice

You will probably hear most of these advice multiple times throughout your research process because they are REALLY important and they will REALLY help you a lot if you take them into account.Here are some advice from my experience:

1. Work with a partner, but be careful in choosing a partner because you will have to collaborate a lot for the following 10 weeks and don't make your life difficult by choosing a partner you don't like.

2. Take time to choose the topic of the project. Choose something that is interesting for you as well as for the study population or any third party. If you start to research the topic just for the sake of doing the project, you will end up frustrated bored and unhappy because you will have the project all around during the whole term. Choose a specific topic that will give you an opportunity to investigate some related topics as well. After you choose it, try to find any other studies on that topic, that can be really helpful.

3. Always plan your time taking into account that everything, starting from the survey design to writing the final paper, will need multiple revisions and proofreading so start everything as early as possible and don't stress yourself too much in the last minutes.

4. Ask for help every time you don't feel confident about something, because every part of the project is built on one another and one mistake can screw the study results.

5. At the end, don't be frustrated if you don't get the results you were expecting, it doesn't mean that you are bad researchers and always look for something interesting and new that you can base you assumptions on.

There are many interesting topics on campus as well as out of the campus that you could explore. One of the interesting things to study is how effective Kalamazoo Promise is. Kalamazoo Promise is a chance for kids from interfaith communities who go to Kalamazoo public schools to get full or partial scholarships at public universities in Michigan. It would be interesting to find out how the lives of the students who have used Kalamazoo Promise have changed. One problem with this study is to find those people. Another, easier project could be about the reasons why students choose to attend their current college or their major. You could also investigate the different effects of social networking on teenagers, or how different the students with working moms are from the students with home sitting moms. Student spending patterns, importance of munch money or effectiveness of different organizations on campus are also good topics to consider. I am sure you can come up with many other good ideas. Don't be stressed or nervous, everything will work out just perfect if you give enough thought and time to your work. Good Luck!

Project Advice

First, I would recommend doing this project with a partner. Having two people makes it a lot easier to collect data, compile data, and analyze data. You save a lot of time writing your paper or entering your data into your computer just by having 2 people do it. Also, collect as much numeric data as possible. Having a lot of numbers makes it easier to do all of the different tests you must do for the paper. And start writing your paper early, don't wait until the day before it's due. There is a lot of writing involved so it's just better to spend a few days writing it.

When trying to decide on a topic, pick something that is meaningful and/or relevant to people. If you are going to do your project about something related to the school, pick something that people at the school care about. If you pick a topic that is not interesting or important then you will not enjoy doing the project

Advice for Business Stats Students

The Business Statistics project was very helpful in that it allowed me to fully grasp the main topics discussed throughout the course by implementing them into a real-life situation. It is a large project, however, and I can offer some advice with hindsight:

· Since this an extensive project I would definitely recommend working with a partner. It is always valuable to have a second opinion and to have two people available to check and edit the work being produced.

· Although it is not required, I advise you to obtain a larger sample. This is important when you calculate your results, for there will be a smaller standard error and the results will be more significant.

· As for topics, make sure you choose one that interests you. It is a good idea to examine events that are currently occurring, whether those happen to be on or off campus. At the moment, a study could be completed on the 4.75% tuition increase that was just announced for the next academic year. What do students think about this? What about faculty and staff? This study would yield very important results.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Project Advice

To future students, I’d advise them to get a partner. However, they should be careful in selecting one, because the research project is a long one where they’ll be spending a lot of time with one another. Therefore, they’ll want to get a partner that they can come to rely upon to help accomplish the project together. Also, they should try avoiding do anything last minute.
Interesting topics rely on the interest of the people doing the research. If they’re athletes, they could do something that concerns athletics, such as comparing the amount of time athletes spend on getting treatment for injuries to the GPA. If they’re into wildlife, they could do research on LandSea and see if those who participate in the program are those whose families make the most income compared to those who don’t participate.


The first advice that I can give is to choose a topic in which you are really interested. Indeed, this project is a very big and long project, so it’s very important to have interest in what you are working on. Second, I would recommend finding a partner you trust and want to work with because you are going to spend a lot of time with him or her. The topic should be interesting but at the same time it has to be something you are sure that you are going to find a lot of variables, correlations between these variables. I suggest focusing the survey on the K College population because the time given to survey people is very short and it’s maybe hard to go out of the campus. It’s very important to be attentive in class, to attend to each class because everything done in this class is important for the project and better understood thanks to the explanations of the teacher than with the book. It’s important to start to work on the project from the day the teacher give you the assignment because it takes a lot of time (from 10 to 20 hours I would say). I would recommend to work with your partner for every section and not to divide the work into two parts. Finally, I think that it’s very important to give importance to this project, because besides being an important part of your final grade, it’s probably one of the most useful things I’ve done this year at K College (I’m international student) that is going to be useful for me for my studies and probably for my future job.

I would suggest for a new and interesting project to survey students about their food habits, about their opinion concerning the food in the cafeteria because I think that students are aware that the food proposed here at K College is questionable and a lot of them would answer this topic. Besides, it would be interesting because foods habits are very important for health of students and it’s today a big problem and I suppose that it affects students more than what we could expect. It could be interesting to compare the results found with other colleges or with other countries. For example, even if we can think that the food of the cafeteria is bad here, it’s possible, I guess, to demonstrate that it’s maybe worse for students in Europe because they don’t take time to eat lunch in a cafeteria and eat everyday bad sandwiches.

By Mathieu Bouvard

Some Advice

Be sure to dedicate a lot of time towards this project and to start right away, it takes longer than than you may think.
It would be helpful for you to get your survey out first so people wont turn down your survey because they did a few already.
Input your survey data as soon as you get responses, if you collect all surveys and then try to input the data it will take a very long time and it is quite boring.
Be sure to save your work often, you dont want to have to put in data multiple times just because of a technical error.
Number the surveys, both on the survey and in the computer, when you are putting them into the computer so you can go back to that survey if there was a mistake.

An interesting topic might be how the money Kalamazoo college receives is distributed amongst students, in the form of grants or scholarships, and facilities.

Thoughts and advice

-Choose a topic that is fresh, something that is different or interesting that is happening right now, not something that will always be there.

-Keep your data well organized and have a copy saved separately so that if you mess up some of your numbers they are saved somewhere you can recover them.

-Choose a subject that people on campus will find interesting so they will be more likely to so your survey

-Be one of the first groups to send your survey out.

-In hindsight I wish I had done something on “The Big Surprise” and people’s opinions on the new social justice center. I think picking something that is current is important.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Advice and an Idea

There are several pieces of advice that I would give to students that are just starting out on their stats project. The first is to pick a topic that is meaningful not only to you but also to the students that are taking the surveys. This is especially important for the surveyor because you will be spending a lot of time working with this data and information. The second piece of advice that I would give is to have as much numerical data as possible, dummy variables can help show relationships but having a lot of numbers allows for the regressions to go much smoother. The final piece of advice that I want to give is that you should push to get as large of sample population as possible so that the standard error is smaller and the findings are more significant and relevant. I think that an interesting topic to explore is how the general population feels about this new social justice tilt that the college has taken and how the students see the money that is allocated to it. This idea would definitely be pertinent as we move on with the different ways that the school allocates money.

Word of Advice

Word of Advice

This project will be as fun as you make it. I encourage you to pick a topic that you are interested in. Find something that is relevant on campus or happening in the news, it makes things more enjoyable when you can relate your findings to what is happening outside of campus. Once you have picked a topic of interest, do some research to figure out the different aspects you want to research. The more developed a plan you have for the project, the easier it is to create the survey. Make sure your survey addresses all the aspects you want to investigate; this is key when you go to do the analysis at the end.

I know everyone keeps saying it, but make sure you continue to work on the project throughout the entire quarter. This project is very time consuming. One of the hardest parts is getting people to respond to the survey. We used an online site and had a drawing for a Biggby gift card, but still had trouble getting over 40 responses. Maybe offer an iTunes gift card for better responses??

If you are trying to decide on a topic I would suggest first deciding if you are going to work alone or with a partner. From there you will have a better idea of where your research will be headed. Any topic can be interesting, from student debt to eating habits. It could be interesting to look at the number of students or faculty who recycle, considering K prides itself on being environmentally friendly. You could try to relate it to how K does in Recycle Mania.