Assignment 1 – Using common graphics and tools – Due April 23, 2009 in class (in lieu of weekly example)

Below is a partial table of data (also available at http://www.ics.uci.edu/~redmiles/inf143-SQ09/Assignment1/ in .xls format and tab separated text). It contains fictitious data for students in a class: student id, major, class standing, completion of prerequisites, numeric grade, and letter grade. For part of the assignment, you should double the size of the table adding in your own data. The remainder of the assignment is as follows. Using your favorite spreadsheet or data plotting software, create a graphic answering each of the following questions. Also, in each case, explain in 1-3 sentences why the graphic is appropriate / good for answering the corresponding question.

A) Frequency / counting: How many students are in each major (in the class)?

B) Percentage: What percent of each major makes up the class?

C) Distribution: What is the distribution of the letter grades (A-F)?

D) Comparison: How did the performance of students with prerequisites compare to students without them?

Remember to double the size of the table with your own imaginary data before doing the graphs. Have fun with the data.

The point of the exercise is two-fold. First, you should learn how to use the graphing features of a common tool (such as Excel) to do simple graphs. If you already know one tool, challenge yourself by trying out a new tool (e.g. OpenOffice). Second, you should learn to choose the best graphic for answering common questions.

Starting Data

Student ID     Major                        Standing       Grade   Prerequisites?     Letters

00101           Computer Science     Junior           82        Y                       B

00105           Economics                 Sophomore  95        Y                       A

00107           Computer Science     Junior           84        N                       B

00217           Social Science           Freshman     83        N                       B

00218           Computer Science     Senior          76        N                       C

01005           Biology                      Freshman     92        Y                       A

01702           Chemistry                  Junior           93        Y                       A

01802           Physics                      Senior          86        Y                       B

02001           Medieval History       Freshman     68        N                       D

04001           Art                            Senior          74        N                       C

00501           Social Science           Senior          89        N                       B