What’s Going On in This Graph? | Dec. 4, 2019

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What’s Going On in This Graph? | Dec. 4, 2019

This graph of the change in the number of violent crimes and the change in the number of undocumented immigrants for the period 2007 to 2016 appeared elsewhere on NYTimes.com. The data is from 180 metropolitan areas in the United States. Both the change in the number of violent crimes and the change in the number of undocumented immigrants are expressed in terms of the number per 100,000 people.

To add more detailed information to your analysis, you may want to use the five graphs below: three violent crime graphs for aggravated assault, robbery and murder, and two property crime graphs for burglary and larceny (the taking of personal property with and without force, respectively). Note that the x-axes for all five graphs have the same scale from -3,600 to +1,400, but the y-axes’ scales for the change vary from -7 to +6 for murders to -2,023 to +922 for larcenies.

After looking closely at the graph above (or at this full-size image), think about these three questions:

  • What do you notice? If you make a claim, tell us what you noticed that supports your claim.

  • What do you wonder? What are you curious about that comes from what you notice in the graph?

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order. Start with “I notice,” then “I wonder,” and end with a catchy headline.

2. Next, join the conversation by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box that opens on the right. (Students 13 and older are invited to comment online. Teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students’ comments.)

3. After you have posted, read what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting a comment. Use the “Reply” button or the @ symbol to address that student directly.

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time to help students’ understanding go deeper. You might use their responses as models for your own.

4. By Friday morning, we will reveal more information about the graph at the bottom of this post. Students, we encourage you to post an additional comment after reading the reveal. How does the original article and the moderators’ comments help you see the graph differently? Try to incorporate the statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets in your response.