Statistics for Environmental Engineers

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Intelligent data analysis begins with plotting the data. Be imaginative. Use a collection of different graphs to see different aspects of the data. Plotting graphs in a notebook is not as useful as making plots large and visible. Plots should be displayed in a prominent place so that those concerned with the environmental system can review them readily.

We close with Tukey’s (1977) declaration: “The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see” (Emphasis and italics in the original.)


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Cleveland, W. S. (1990). The Elements of Graphing Data, 2nd ed., Summit, NJ, Hobart Press. Cleveland, W. S. (1994), Visualizing Data, Summit, NJ, Hobart Press.

Farquhar, A. B. and H. Farquhar (1891). “Economic and Industrial Delusions: A Discourse of the Case for Protection,” New York, Putnam.

Gameson, A. L. H., G. A. Truesdale, and M. J. Van Overdijk (1961). “Variation in Performance of Twelve Replicate Small-Scale Percolating Filters,” Water and Waste Treatment J., 9, 342-350.

Hunter, J. S. (1988). “The Digidot Plot,” Am. Statistician, 42, 54.

Tufte, E. R. (1983). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Cheshire, CN, Graphics Press.

Tufte, E. R. (1990). Envisioning Information, Cheshire, CN, Graphics Press.

Tufte, E. R. (1997). Visual Explanations, Cheshire, CN, Graphics Press.

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