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Teaching Data Analysis Techniques Using Practical Polymer Processing Examples

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.409.1 - 1.409.4

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James A. Newell

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

Session 3213 Teaching Data Analysis Techniques Using Practical Polymer Processing Examples

James A. Newell The University of North Dakota


Teaching data analysis techniques is an essential component of engineering laboratory classes. Elbowl states that intellectual excitement is the most important. dimension of effective teaching. Regrettably, data analysis techniques tend to be dry and the problems are often perceived as uninteresting by undergraduate students. By relating the analysis techniques to “real-world” problems, the students learn the concepts within the framework of engineering analysis. The students are not simply asked to calculate statistics based on arbitrary numbers. Instead, they are asked to make informed engineering decisions using the statistical analysis techniques as tools. Additionally, chemical engineering undergraduate students are becoming increasingly interested in application oriented topics such as polymers and environmental technology. By designing problems in these areas, student interest is enhanced.

Data Analysis Techniques

The problems presented in the next section assume that students have been instructed in the following experimental analysis techniques:

1. The elimination of “bad” data using the statistical q-test.

2. The determination of 95% confidence intervals from standard deviations using the statistical t-tables.

Homework Problem #l

An inventor claims that he can increase the tensile strength of a polymeric fiber by adding a small quantity of the rare element toughenitupneum during spinning, To prove her claim she provides data obtained by testing samples with and without her addition. The six samples tested without the addition had tensile strengths of 3100, 2577,2715,2925,3250, and 2888 GPa, respectively. Six samples tested with the added element has strengths of 3725, 3090, 3334, 3616, 3102, 3441 GPa. Has the inventor proven her claim? If not, suggest improvements that could help her.


First, the mean strengths of the samples must be calculated

Newell, J. A. (1996, June), Teaching Data Analysis Techniques Using Practical Polymer Processing Examples Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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