Sample of Math Ia Essay

2543 Words Mar 9th, 2012 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 nhl.com 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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The trendline, known as the line of best fit or the least squares regression line, shows the linear equation which best explains the sums up the data’s trend. The formula on the right is the formula of the line of best fit.

As can be observed from these plots, teams who win at the end of the first period have a much larger range of data, with 26 separate points versus 14 separate points on Team B’s graph. Since the scatter plot does not use a thicker dot when numerous teams share one place on the plot, this suggests that teams who lose at the end of the first period tend to have similar scores, as they have twelve fewer points than teams who win.

If a team loses in the first period, this means that its X-range must be smaller than that of the winning team. Since 9/26, or almost 35%, of Team A’s points are on 3 or 4 on the X-axis, it is logical for Team A to have a larger range. However, even disregarding 3 and 4 on the X-axis, Team A’s range is still larger than that of Team B’s. There is a greater spread of data on the Y-axis of Team A, as well.

Note that when Team A scores one goal in the first period, there are instances of them ending the third period with five or six goals. However, when Team B scores one goal in the first period, the most goals they ended up with is only four. This pattern is repeated when the teams score two goals in the first period. With Team A, there are instance(s) when they end up with seven; with

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