1.5: Computers and Calculators
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A Note About Technology
Many of the textbook examples are shown with graphing calculator steps. However, many different technologies can be used to perform statistics, including professional software packages Statisticians use (such as R, SPSS, or Minitab), and easily available spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
Your instructor will guide you on what technology you should use for the class. The goal is to help you learn at least one technology for statistical analysis. If your instructor has not required a graphing calculator, then it is not expected that you know or understand how to enter commands in a graphing calculator to answer an example in the book that shows those commands. In using Excel or Sheets, your instructor will provide a lecture, video, or instructions on learning that application.
Beyond the class, one advantage to learning Excel or Sheets is that you will gain a marketable skill that you can include on your resume!
Please do not assume you must purchase a graphing calculator in order to complete this course. If your instructor requires a graphing calculator, the library has some to borrow and the Math Department has some to rent for the semester. Some instructors don't use graphing calculators at all, and some use them exclusively. Make sure you understand the technology requirements of your class by reviewing your syllabus and reaching out to your instructor for any clarification.