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Golfing With The Pros: Teaching Experimental Statistics To Mechanical Engineering Juniors

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Integrating Math in Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.606.1 - 8.606.8



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Paper Authors

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Mark Reuber

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Mark Archibald

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Blair Allison

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1365

Golfing with the Pros: Teaching Experimental Statistics to Mechanical Engineering Juniors

Mark Reuber, Mark Archibald, Blair Allison Department of Mechanical Engineering Grove City College, Grove City, PA 16127


Teaching statistics to undergraduate mechanical engineers is one of the required ABET program criteria, a criteria that is included under, but also predates EC 2000. To more effectively teach statistics to junior mechanical engineers, an experiment was created using a modified commercially-available golf analysis system that included an array of 53 floor-embedded light- sensors. Students measured the tempo (swing time), club speed, club angle and trajectory, and projected ball trajectory of typical golf swings for golfers and non-golfers. Analyzing the data (and comparing the results to PGA Tour Pros) taught students the basics of statistical analysis, including using mean, standard deviation, Student’s t-test, and the F-test for the analysis of variability. This study was co-sponsored by the PGA Tour and the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL.


ABET’s updated engineering criteria for mechanical engineering programs (also called Engineering Criteria 2000 or EC 2000) requires students to be familiar with experimental statistics. This requirement is implied in four places: program outcomes a, b, and k, listed under general criteria, and a specific curriculum requirement listed under the program criteria for mechanical engineering programs:

General Criteria: (a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering.

Program Criteria specific to mechanical engineering: “The program must demonstrate that graduates have...familiarity with statistics...”

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Reuber, M., & Archibald, M., & Allison, B. (2003, June), Golfing With The Pros: Teaching Experimental Statistics To Mechanical Engineering Juniors Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11529

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