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Statistics students gain practical experience collecting data at 2nd annual Run@Work Day

» By KIMBERLY WALLACE – kwallace17@my.apsu.edu

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics decided to gave students in their MATH 1530: Elements of Statistics class the opportunity to take what they learn in class and apply it to real life. Students in these classes had the chance to collect real live data at the Run@Work event hosted by University Recreation on Friday, Sept. 16.

Real mathematicians don’t just read textbooks, we go out and collect data,” said Jennifer Filingim, assistant professor of mathematics.

The two factors the students were inquisitive about was whether if having a lower body mass index might correspond to running a higher number of miles in 30 minutes opposed to someone whose is higher.

Volunteers from the statistics classes of Matt Jones, Fillingim and Ayman Alzaatreh participated in the event. Students were asked to download a pedometer or GPS app of their choice on their own media devices in order to measure their distance traveled during the 30 minute run.

After Volunteers finished their 30 minutes of running or walking, they anonymously recorded their data. Data included their gender, height, weight, distance travelled, type of runner and other factors.

“Data is not consistent,” Fillingim said.

Just like true mathematical data there were errors in the student’s research. Somewhere down the line, like a game of telephone, the directions were changed so the volunteers only had to run for 10 minutes.

There were runners that did the full 30 minutes while others just participated in a 10-minute run.

Even though the data wasn’t entirely conclusive the students got real hands-on experience dealing with data collection. For students it’s much more interesting to learn hands on what they will be doing in their own professions instead of reading about it.

“The Department of Mathematics and Statistics wants our students to have classroom experiences that will reflect reality,” Fillingim said. TAS

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