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Subject: Re: [office-comment] ODFF: list of suggestions

Hello everyone,

Eike Rathke wrote:
> Hi David,
> [...]
>> "Estimates the standard deviation" - no, it calculates the 
>> standard deviation. The standard deviation *is* an estimate (of 
>> spread).
> Done for draft11.

This is slightly more complex:
Lets say there is an infinite population and a finite sample from this 
infinite population. Suppose now that we *calculate* the standard 
deviations for the sample and somehow do it for the population, too.

sd(sample) = sqr( ... / (n-1) )
sd(population) = sqr( ... / n )
[Notice the difference between the 2!]

More often than not, we cannot calculate the population sd, so we need 
to *estimate* it. The best estimator of the population sd is actually 
the sample sd. So:
sd(population) ~ sd(sample)

[This is the reason why sd(sample) is with (n-1), to get a value more 
close to sd(population).]

Therefore, we calculate the sd for a *sample*, but we usually wish to 
*estimate* the sd of the *population*.



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