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Lesson 5

Computational Processing


Your task is to review the mathematical concepts associated with averages and measures of central tendency.  Familiarize yourself with the use of CAS technologies to compute and analyse statistical data by watching the following clips at home prior to the lesson:

You will need to take notes where appropriate and complete the questions at the following website:

  • Measures of Central Tendency  
    This webpage contains two basic questions requiring you to apply your understanding of Mean, Mode, Median and Range to a set of statistical data.

2. GOAL  

To explore the essential concept that the scientific world depends on scientists who have a strong understanding of computer modelling, algorithms and IT.


As a class, discuss the following:

In order to make more accurate predictions, modern scientific models and large amounts of data are required. This leads to a need for increased amounts of processing power.

Advancements in processing power have made it possible for the complex analysis of scientific data and modelling of phenomena in the fields of genomics, bioinformatics, astrophysics and climate change.

Consider the following three important questions:

1.  How have advances in modern computing  allowed various professions to increase the amount of data that can be analysed?

2. What are some of the limitations of modern computing in analysing complex or huge sets of data? Explain.

3. If there are limitations to the ability of modern classical computing to hasten the analysis of various types of data, is it possible for these limitations to be overcome? If so, explain how.

View  Fundamentals of computing  and summarise the information into your workbook.

Play the following video clip.


Complete an analysis of a set of data using traditional manual method, and then compare this with an analysis using a modern classical computer algebraic system.

  • Working individually, statistically analyse the data manually using a basic scientific calculator. You will need to keep track of the time it takes to complete the activity as well as the complexity of executing the “algorithm”.
  • Complete the same task, this time using CAS technologies instead of a scientific calculator. Once again, you need to keep track of the time it takes to complete the activity, as well as the complexity of executing the “algorithm”.

Complete the Computational Analysis Task (see below). Computational Analysis Task – Casio ClassPad and TiNspire CAS. Part B, question 2 varies accordingly. 



Reflect on the activity using the advanced organiser and reflection page within the Computational Analysis Application Task. Focus on the benefits and shortcomings of using advanced CAS technologies over the simple scientific calculator technologies.

Report back to the group on your own thoughts and reflections and take the opportunity to make any amendments to your advance organiser.


Independently research how computer modelling and algorithms are currently being used by scientists, and compare and contrast how this application has changed the field. For example, algorithms and computer modelling together with statistical information can now make faster and more accurate forecasts for businesses or specific fields such as Meteorology.

Present your findings in the form of an A4 ‘Compare and Contrast’ Poster. See below left  Homework Task Computational Analysis for Compare and Contrast Templates (see below)