Saturday, April 26, 2008

I've learned a new vocabulary

This year has brought about a new vocabulary. I found myself explaining the Rozelle-Campbell baseline to Hal on Tuesday as I showed him the graphs from an amazing presentation by one of my class members. I sat explaining what the graphs meant and yadda yadda, and he looked at me and said,

"You know how to calculate that?"

I said, "You know what? I do!"

And I DO! The formula is written down in my notebook somewhere, but it's not a hard one.

Tonight, I calculated a Scott's Pi Reliability Coefficient BY HAND. And this is the formula:

Pi = (Po -Pe) / (1-Pe)

(In case you are curious, the Scott's Pi tests to see how reliable my coding sheet is, and involves me testing the agreement of my coders, namely, me and Hal, against the possible agreement by chance. And my coding sheet passed.)

Thursday, I explained to my class my very simple Pearsons Correlations and why or why not they needed or didn't need significance tests.

Friday, I read regression outputs on SPSS.

I will tell you all that approximately 7 months ago, I had no idea what a regression was. I had no idea how to calculate a Scott's Pi and couldn't imagine why I would ever want to, even if I had, in fact, known what one was.

This year, I remembered that once upon a time I knew how to do math. And while the math I have been doing this year has been very computer-based and not so much of my own brain doing the calculations, it's still nice to know that my brain can still function in terms of math. I have learned so much in terms of research methods, and have done, now, two full studies which employ quantitative (math) methods -- what a surprise! I had no idea that this was what I would be doing when I got here. In fact, I had no idea WHAT I would be doing when I got here. It's been a crazy and very interesting year.

And it's almost over.

My final paper is due on Wednesday. I have two papers due on Monday. One of those is almost done, the other is about half done -- but the hard part (all the calculations and tables) is out of the way. So while I don't really have time to reflect right now, I did want to let you all know that I did, in fact, learn something. I did, in fact, learn LOTS.

(I hope my grades show it!)

I will update at some point in time in the near future. Until then, I'm sitting in my chair writing about obesity, technology, and experiments.

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