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Probability/Statistics Object Library

Probability/Statistics Object Library

The Probability/Statistics Object Library is a virtual library of objects for use by teachers and students of probability and statistics. The library contains objects of two basic types, applets and components. An applet is a small, self-contained program that runs in a web page. Applets are intended to illustrate concepts and techniques in an interactive, dynamic way. A teacher or student can download an applet, drop it in a web page, and then add other elements of her own choice (such as expository text, data sets, and graphics). The applets in the library contain essentially no mathematical theory and thus can be used by students at various levels. The applets are intended to be small "micro worlds" where students can run virtual versions of random experiments and play virtual versions of statistical games. Components are the building blocks of applets and of other components. The Java objects are of three basic types: virtual versions of physical objects, such as coins, dice, cards, and sampling objects; virtual versions of mathematical objects, such as probability distributions, data structures, and random variables; user-interface objects such as custom graphs and tables. The Java objects can be used by teachers and students with some programming experience to create custom applets or components without having to program every detail from scratch, and thus in a fraction of the usual time. In addition, the components are extensively documented through a formal object model that specifies how the components relate to each other. Each object can be downloaded as a Java "bean" that includes all class and resource files needed for the object. An object in the form of a Java bean can be dropped into a builder tool (such as JBuilder or Visual Cafe) to expose the properties and methods of the object. Each object can also be downloaded in the form of a zip file that includes the source files and resource files for the object.


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