Calculating mean and standard deviation on the TI-83:

Let's say we have a table of data describing four birds of different species (units of height and weight have been left out here):


You can think of the two columns as representing variables x and y.

First we have to enter the data. Hit the STAT button and you will see the options EDIT, CALC and TESTS atop the screen. Use the left and right arrows (if necessary) to move the cursor to EDIT, then select 1:Edit...

Now you will see a table with the headings L1 and L2. Enter the x values under L1, the y values under L2. (If you want to clear pre-existing data first, move the cursor to the top of the column, hit CLEAR and then ENTER.)

(If there were only a single variable, we could enter the data as x-values and leave the 2nd column blank.)

Once all the data is entered, go back to the STAT menu, but this time move the cursor to CALC instead of EDIT. If you can't find your way there, remember: Every TI graphing calculator is equipped with CLEAR, QUIT and/or EXIT commands for getting back out of tough situations.

Once you're in the CALC menu, select 2-Var Stats. (If we had only entered a single column of data, 1-Var Stats would be the appropriate choice instead.) Then hit ENTER.

The calculator will display the x-mean (= 2.5), some other stuff, and then the standard deviation (sx=1.29). Note that sx is what we called s in class; the calculator refers to it as sx so we know that this is the standard deviation of the variable x and not that of y (which will be denoted by sy). This is followed by something called sigma x (which is what you would get as standard deviation if you had used n instead of n-1), and finally the sample size (there are n = 4 observations). Use the down arrow to get the corresponding information about y. (Its mean is 5.25, and its standard deviation is sy =.5).

Now go back to the STAT menu and select CALC, 1-Var stats. See what happens: we get the mean and standard deviation of x, and also its five-number summary! If you want the five-number summary for y, try STAT, CALC, 1-Var stats and then type L2 (which is the 2nd function on the 2 key) before hitting ENTER.