Sunday, August 5, 2012

A statistical analysis

I like statistics.  I like doing statistical analyses of various things.  For example I keep track of how much home heating fuel we use and have done so for all of the almost 26 years we've lived in this house.

I also keep track of how much gas each of our vehicles uses and the cost.

After I've recorded the data in an Excel spreadsheet, I turn it into a graph--or chart as it's called in Excel.  I love graphing stuff.  It's a good way to get a ready picture of the data.

The most recent chart I made was of my Facebook "friends".  Of course not all 125 of them are really friends.  In fact there are many that I haven't seen or talked to in years.  (Click on the chart to make it larger).

I determined that they all fall into one or more of 5 general categories.  Several people fall into multiple categories but I only counted them once so the total is 125.

The chart I've posted shows the breakdown.  Notice how many are former colleagues or students.  In fact the largest category is former students.  The reason for that is because some time ago I began posting class pictures.  The response was amazing.  All these students came out of the woodwork, tagging themselves and 'friending' me.  I confirmed the 'friends' because as a former teacher, I was curious how everyone turned out after all these years.

I'm happy to report almost all of them are doing exceptionally well.  They have gone on to further their education (MDs and PHDs), they have families and jobs.  In other words they've turned out to be an extraordinary group of young men and women.

I can't say for sure how much of that is due to my influence.  Probably not much.  A person's parents are much more important but there may be  some cases where the kids turned out well in spite of their parents rather than because of them. 

Anyway it was an interesting statistical exercise.

Maybe the next thing I'll do is start cataloging the number of different varieties of birds at my feeder--or not!

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