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Interpreting the Spread of AIDS in the US

Activity Description Activity Guide


In this activity students are given data on the number of AIDS cases in the US and are asked to graph, interpret, and analyze the data.

Mathematics Topics: Students draw scatterplots of the data, and fit linear, exponential, and other regression curves to the data.

Mathematical Thinking: Students will visually and numerically analyze data, determine viewing windows to suggest various interpretations, make predictions based on numerical and graphing representations of data, compare numerical, graphical and algebraic representations, and assesss limitations of mathematical models.

Technology: Students will use graphing calculators to draw scatterplots, change viewing windows, create cumulative lists, and calculate regression equations.

Sample Screenshots: Below are a chart with the new AIDS case and cumulative AIDS case data and screen shots of scatterplots of each data set.

Year

New AIDS Cases in US

Cumulative AIDS Cases

1981
329
329
1982
1195
1524
1983
3146
4670
1984
6281
10951
1985
11980
22931
1986
19299
42230
1987
28960
71190
1988
35918
107108
1989
43095
150203
1990
48911
199114
1991
59840
258954
1992
78355
337309
1993
78452
415761
1994
70215
485976
1995
64391
550367
1996
49875
600242

Source: Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov)




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Last modified on August 15, 2001.