Project Maths: Strand 1 - Probability and Statistics
Statistics - Discrete and continuous data
Discrete and continuous data
* In the dictionary, 'discrete' means 'unconnected, distinct'. In
mathematics, data is discrete if there are a countable number of values
that the variable being studied can have.
* This usually means the variable can only have whole number values. For
example, despite what the advertisements say, you cannot have 2.2 children
in a real family. So data on 'number of children in families' is discrete
* The opposite of discrete is 'continuous', and will be studied next.
We have to know whether the data is discrete or not, because when we come
to perform calculations the methods used depend on the type of data.
* In everyday life, something that is continuous is something that
* In mathematics a piece of 'continuous' data is a number that gives the
measurement of something that could be any decimal value, if we could
measure accurately enough. For example a friend might measure your height
as 1.76m - a continuous piece of data.
There are special methods to be used when calculating with continuous
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