Mathematics and Computer Science
Westminster College (UT)
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Count the Fs: Why a Sample instead of a Census? part of CAUSE Teaching Methods:Interactive Lectures:Examples
This interactive lecture activity motivates the need for sampling. "Why sample, why not just take a census?" Under time pressure, students count the number of times the letter F appears in a paragraph. The activity demonstrates that a census, even when it is easy to take, may not give accurate information. Under the time pressure measurement errors are more frequently made in the census rather than in a small sample.