# Using Statistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Ever wondered what part statistics plays in everyday life? At the Big Bang Fair you can take part in a simulated clinical trial to test a new headache medicine to see what role statistics can play. Follow this up by conducting a simulation of your own using the resources in this list which contains activities where students explore the statistics and probability behind the simulations. A number of the simulations use dice to generate data as seen on the Statistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry Stand.

(Stand 150)

### Using Video to Illustrate Dynamic Equilibria *suitable for home teaching*

This short video clip will make an ideal starter activity before performing a more detailed simulation. Students could perform their own simple simulation based upon the ideas in the video.

The video shows students rolling dice and, depending on their score, taking off or putting on their blazers. They noted that, on average, the number of them with blazers on or off remained roughly the same.

This will lead well into a discussion of how a real life situation can be modelled and an experiment set up.

### Statistics and Probability

This resource contains a number of activities that show how statistics and probability can be used to study everyday problems and mathematical models can be set up to simulate real life situations. Students have to modify the mathematical models and analyse the effects these changes woulld have in real life.

**Why are we waiting?** This activity studies queuing methods in a variety of situations. Students analyse different queuing methods, data from consultation times at a doctor's surgery then use random numbers to create a mathematical model to simulate waiting times to test the efficiency of different queuing systems.

**How do you react?** This activity analyses data from a simple reaction time test. There are a number of hypothesise to be tested and discussion of how this kind of simulation is used in real life.

**Very fishy** This activity simulates the capture recapture technique used to estimate the number of fish in a pond.

### Good ideas for Probability

This resource contains a number of practical dice activities designed to encourage students to model a real life situation and to apply their knowledge of probability to change the rules of the simulation in an attempt to alter the outcome.

**Horse race**: students play a dice game which simulates a horse race. From the results students have to determine whether they think the game is fair. The activity is easily extended by asking students to make up their own game using different dice or using two dice, finding the sum of the difference between the scores on the dice.

**Crossing the river:** students play a dice game. The task is then to modify the game to make it harder or easier to win.

**21 Dice**: 21 dice are dice whose digits add up to 21. Students design differently numbered dice whose digits still add up to 21 which they think will give them the best chance to score a high total. Students then test their dice by experiment.

**Bingo**: students play a simple game of bingo where numbers are generated by the roll of two dice. Once again the value to this activity is in the extension work, generating numbers by combining the numbers from the dice in different ways and analysing which numbers are likely to appear most frequently.

### Whole School Mathematics Projects

The first activity in this book is called fair and unfair games. In this activity, students play a number of dice games. By repeatedly playing each game and recording their results, students have to decide whether the game is fair. Students can then apply their knowledge of probability to explain the results of the experiments.

### Interactive Data Resources

The first three spreadsheets in this resource simulate rolling a die or dice. Each spreadsheet shows the raw data, and builds a frequency table to show the results in a clear form. A bar graph also logs the results to give a visual representation.

These simulations are ideal to use with other activities in this list when explaining the results obtained from their dice experiments. They are also useful to explain how relative frequency can be used to estimate theoretical probability. Using these spreadsheets is a good way to simulate performing a high number of trials thus showing that relative frequency becomes more reliable the greater the number of trials performed.

The remainder of the spreadsheets are useful to explain how to find the mean of a set of data, the mode, the median and the range.