Assignment 6 Write-Up

The Problem:

Search the web for data sets that might be represented by each of the following families of functions: linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic. Create a web page where you briefly discuss and provide links to each of these sources. Then choose one of these data sources to explore further. Create (and provide a link to) an excel worksheet in which you show and discuss the data in at least three different forms (numeric, algebraic, and graphic). Explore and discuss ways that you could use this data with your students.

The Strategy:

We're going to do a lot of web surfing. Our best bets are probably government numbers, such as population stats, employment rates, and economic numbers. We could also try weather stats, such as temperature readings, rainfall readings, and daylight hours. We may also want to try prices of various products, such as gasoline, movie tickets, vehicles, or CDs. Sports data is probably a good bet as well, since sports people tend to keep stats on everything! If we're still stuck, we can always try searching for "data sets" and we'll probably get to a data library or some university's statistics department....

Exploration:

Logarithmic Data:
These data are from the United States Swimming Web Site. Specifically, we're looking at the National Age Group Short Course Record Times for the 50-yard and 100-yard Freestyle Swimming Events over time (as the age group increases). I figured this would give me a nice logarithmic function, since I have experience with swimming and know that your times improve quite a but when you're younger, but tend to level off when you get older. This makes for a nice negative logarithmic function. You can see a graph of the data on this spread sheet.

Exponential Data:
These data are from a US Governement Web Site and show the Consumer Price Index over time. Specifically, we're going to look at the Average CPI over time. The CPI is related to the inflation rate, so I figured it would give a nice exponential function. You can see a graph of the data on this spread sheet.

Linear Data: