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Graphing Histograms with # Bins (General Question)

  1. Oct 1, 2013 #1
    If you're given a set of data and asked to plot the histogram with x amount of bins. How do you determine which range each bin covers?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2013 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I think that depends on what you're trying to show.

    Say you had data for a whole range of people from infants to centenarians.

    You could bin by:
    - every ten years
    - every 20 years

    or you could define age ranges:
    - infants 0-8 years
    - preteens 9-15
    - teens 16-21
    - yuppies 22-50,
    - baby boomers 51-64
    - seniors 65-80
    - centenarians 81-100+

    The binning choice is yours use it wisely to convey what you need to convey.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2013 #3
    Thanks. The width of each bin should be the same right?
     
  5. Oct 2, 2013 #4

    Ray Vickson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    No, not necessarily. Look at the previous posting. Are the bin widths for teens the same as for yuppies or baby boomers?
     
  6. Oct 2, 2013 #5
    Ah I see. I see. So I guess it's a subjective thing.

    I was given a problem with the following 10 data ptns:
    289.1 269.6 270.7 277.5 279 267.8 283.7 271 261.9 282.6

    I attached this problem.

    I was asked to "calculate and plot the histogram with 3 bins."
    I'm not sure what they mean by calculate. Think it's just an unnecessary word in the instructions.

    Anyway, I was given a template for the plot. On the x-axis the template they gave goes from 260-290 in increments of 5. So from common sense I would have my ranges as 260-270, 270-280, 290-300.


    If you're given a template with the maximum and minimum values, would it set the range as the (maximum-minimum)/# of bins?
     

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