Thursday, March 6, 2014



While I rarely employ curves on exams in “traditional” math classes, Statistics is a very special beast. And in AP Stat, I’ve explored a variety of flavors, including (but not limited to):

  • Gaussian curve (a.k.a., “bell curve”)
  • Shift by a constant (i.e., add 5 points to each score)
  • Add 5% or 10% of current HW average to each test score1
  • The “eBay curve”2
  • Square root curve3
  • The “20% discount”4 and its close relative, the “25% discount”
  • …and my personal favorite: the “you get exactly the score that you earned” curve. In other words: NO CURVE.5

The fact that I’m blogging about curves the day that I graded our 2nd major exam over statistical inference?

Total coincidence, of course.

  1. The idea being: reward students for practice / effort. Sure, we can debate the merits of this one… []
  2. Think: different rules for calculating fees based on the price range of the product. Basically a piecewise function of sorts… []
  3. This one doesn’t make much sense to me if I think about it too long… []
  4. Students “get back” 20% of the points they missed. I believe a student once referred to this as a “Communist curve”… lol []
  5. Yeah, this one is definitely NOT a crowd favorite among students. []

Running on fumes


I’m there.

Apparently, so was this one:


(I suddenly have a hankering to watch “Fight Club”…)

. . .

You’ve heard the phrase, “the mind is willing but the flesh is weak?”

Well, this is one of those points in the campaign where:

“The mind is weak and the flesh is weak.”

As in:

Your brain knows that Spring Break is nigh, and thus your body is pretty much shutting down in anticipation.

We will surely revisit this theme in a couple of months =)