Sample of Math Ia

2553 words 11 pages
Plan of Investigation

While watching National Hockey League (NHL) games, I often heard the play-by-play announcer mention at the start of the third and final period how it would be tough for a team to come back from a one goal deficit. This led me to wonder just how difficult it was mathematically, and how much previous periods affected the final one. In this project, I will investigate whether the scores at the end of the first period affect the final score of NHL games.
I will gather the scores of 200 hockey games between 2005-2008 from the website. I chose these years because the type of hockey before and after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is different in terms of goals scored per game, with more goals scored per
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I then used Pearson’s correlation coefficient. When necessary, I rounded numbers to three significant digits. Again, I used Microsoft Excel to find r, by placing data from Team A into A1 to A110 and B1 to B110. Next, I imputed =CORREL(A1:A110,B1:B110). This gave me r, +0.452. I repeated this process with data from Team B, although I imputed data into C and D columns and imputed =CORREL(C1:C110,D1:D110). The r for Team B was +0.436.

The purpose of r is to find the degree of linearity between the two variables. This allows me to evaluate the strength of the correlation between goals scored in the first period and third period by each time.

The Pearson’s correlation coefficient for Teams A and B suggests a weak positive correlation, with a slightly weaker correlation for Team B. This means that generally, the higher the score in the first period for both teams, the higher the score at the end of the third period. Team A is more likely than Team B to have a higher score in the third period given that it has a higher score in the first. Thus, Team A appears more likely to win because it either widens the difference in goals-scored between it and team B, or scores more goals in response to Team B trying to launch a comeback. However, this connection is quite weak. While this trend exists, it does not often occur. This suggests that if a higher score at the end of the first period does not frequently


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