Monday, May 16, 2011

Maths Performance Task - Personal Reflection

(I) Role of Statistics in Real Life
In my opinion, statistics is collecting data, usually in large quantities, and analyzing them. Statistics can exist in many forms, from tables and graphs to charts. 
I have encountered statistics in the news. For example in the night news in Channel 5, when they are reporting something to do with numbers or statistics (e.g. Birth rate in Singapore), then sometimes they will use charts/graphs/tables to illustrate what they are reporting. In the newspaper, when they are reporting something to do with statistics (e.g the number of earthquakes in a region), then they will also use tables/charts/graphs to illustrate what they are reporting. I like the way that they represent their data as if I do not have enough time to read the whole article, then I can just look at the chart/graph/table and I will be able to understand what the news is about and what they are reporting. Statistics has also enabled me to understand the terms that they are using, like mean, median, mode, outlier etc. This will enable me to know what they are saying in the reports and grasp the gist of it if I am skimming through the report.
Statistics, however, are not always totally reliable. Some people might twist the data as they want to project a good image of (for example) the country. The data migt also be rounded off/estimated, like when they are reporting about (for example) the number of people that attended a donation drive, and they do not have the exact figures. Thus, we cannot always trust the statistics and must look at the context.

(II) Learning experience

We decided to analyze the data according to neighbourhood, so we spilt up the collection and grouping of the data. Then, we grouped and organized the data, and from there we created a pie chart to compare the punctuality of the buses on a whole. We also created other charts and graphs to analyze and compare the data collected. We used technology to communicate and send each other the work that we had done, as we were at home, and the others needed to information. 
I think that our group consisted of people with various strengths and weaknesses and that enabled us to work together and succeed. Our group did not have any quarrels or arguments, and all the group members were able to work together amicably. We also spilt up the work evenly, ensuring that all the group members contributed to the task and no one did less than what was expected of him. I think that one major thing that enabled us to work together and not quarrel or argue was that everyone did their part, so no one complained about the others doing less.
I was the leader or the group, albeit a but unwillingly, so I helped to delegate the tasks to the various group members. I also helped to gather and the data from the neighbourhood that I was supposed to collect data from. I also helped to analyze the data on a whole, infer from the data, and draw the conclusions from my inferences and the data.
Some of the challenges that I faced while doing the project was that there was not enough time given to complete the task. We were given the performance task much later than some of the other classes, and although the date for submission was extended by 2 days, I still found that we had to rush through some parts of the project and were not able to be as thorough as we would have liked to.
If I had a similar project in the future, I would try to be more focused on the task, as we mostly did our work and data collection in the class, during the Maths and TCS periods, and the class made a fair but of noise. There were also quite a lot of distractions during the project, like wanting to give up, wanting to ‘slack’, but fortunately I did not succumb to the majority of them. I would try to block out all the other distractions if I was given another chance to do this project, or if I was given another project similar to this one.