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Alumni Posts

Minitab to the Rescue!

by Alumni Posts on December 1, 2012

in Academics

To date, I think I’ve highlighted each class that I’m currently taking , excepting advanced statistics.  For a third-year biology major like me, it is sort of strange to be in advanced statistics, which is a 300-level math class.  Dr. Newton is helpful and fun, and I’ve made some friends in the class, but it’s still strange to be among a group of people who’ve all taken calculus 3 and “diff-e-q” (whatever that is) and a bunch of other math classes with fancy names.

But last week was, for me, probably one of the most interesting weeks I’ve had in that class.  You see, we use a computer-based program called Minitab on which we run statistical analyses.  Last week – yes, just one week before the end of the semester – I realized that the statistician’s term “reponse” parallels the biologist’s term “dependent variable” and that the statistician’s “predictor” is the same as the biologist’s “independent variable.”  I had been reading along and comprehending the material all semester long while we were doing problems about the diets of “gummy ewes” and various types of beets in Australia, but it never really clicked until last week.  Well, better late than never right?!

Though I probably won’t use Minitab or some of the math-based skills I learned from advanced statistics, I think it was still worth taking this class.  I was exposed to the methods that statisticians will use to analyze my future research-based data, and I made some friends along the way. 

You say “toe-may-toe,” I say “toe-maah-toe.”  You say “reponse,” I say “dependent variable.”  It’s really all the same in the end.

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