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my math studies IA

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Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. :P

^^ That's my IA topic right now. My teacher told us to do a rough draft over summer vacation without teaching us the format or any statistical tests. I bsed something and turned it in but I'm worried about how it's actually going to end up. I think taking it down to a single running distance would be too specific, but i'm a little overwhelmed with the idea of measuring both progression and frequency of records for about eight different distances. Should I be trying to do both the progression and the frequency? Also, what statistical tests would be useful? I really don't know any at all, I just threw in a couple of regular graphs on the rough draft. I've learned a little about chi-squared test and the t-test on my own, would they be useful? And that's about all I know..I'm a little worried because I think my teacher's trying to get the IA out of the way within a month or so and I still am clueless. Would I include the graphs for every single distance in the IA or would that be overwhelming to graders?

I'm in 11th grade in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, doing the IB program at a public magnet school.


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Your topic sounds fine, and I think you should stick to just one distance. If you're collecting data on world records from 100 years back, there will be enough information for you to make graphs and things. More distances= too broad a question. And the same goes for the progression/frequency thing. Either you try to work out if there's a pattern in the frequency of world records, and try to predict when the next one will occur (this could have soemthing to do with sequences, geometric or arithmetic, or it could be exponential, I'm just guessing here) OR you try to predict the next time that the 100m world will be run in (so you look at how the record has been getting faster and faster, and based on graphs estimate that the next time will be 9.50 second or whatever). Don't do both. It's will be too broad a topic.

So what I'm suggesting in a nutshell is that you rephrase your question to be either "Is there a pattern in the frequency of men's 100m world records over the past 100 years?" or "What will be the time that the next men's 100m world record is run in, based on previous world records from the past 100 years and their progression?"

Yes, I think you need to do the Chi-Squared Test to check if there is a correlation between 100m world records and progression. For 100m records and time, there obviously is a correlation, so the Chi-Squared test would be useless there but I don't know if the t-test would be applicable since it's used for means. I did the t-test for my IA, but I was told to do it by my teacher because it's not covered in the syllabus and I found it difficult. So check with your teacher if you need it for your topic, but I don't think so (because generally speaking, only one of the two, Chi-Squared or t-test, is applicable to a relationship. If one works, the other won't or isn't necessary).

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