Saturday, July 11, 2009

Estimating NUS EE Statistics

The NUS commencement booklet has much data, including the names and honors classification of each graduate in the cohort. Privacy issues aside, this vast amount of data can be put to some use.

Doing a very rough count of the number of graduating EE students in each honors class, I found the following numbers: 15% First, 30% Second Upper, 30% Second Lower, 10% Third, 15% Pass. Coupled with the additional knowledge of the CAP requirement to obtain these honors classifications, I was able to obtain an estimate of the statistics of the NUS EE cohort.

First, I assumed a normal fit for the CAP distribution. Combining this with the known honors distribution, I was able to obtain a series of equations, like 0.15 = P(X > 4.5) , which represents the First Class degrees. These equations are made normal by assuming two parameters, µ and σ.

Of course, the linear system yields no solution. Hence, it is necessary to find the best fit for the linear system, such as via linear least squares. I used an applet for this task, arriving at the values of µ=3.884 and σ=0.626. In other words, the mean CAP for an ECE graduate is 3.884 while the std. dev is 0.626.

Now, all this seems pretty useless, with one exception. Using the normal statistics, I was able to compute the percentile that I was at, given the knowledge of my CAP at graduation. This should be a computation that anyone with a basic knowledge of statistics can perform.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was googling the distribution of honours awarded in NUS and came across your post. I think this distribution is specific to direct-honours programmes such as Engineering but it may not be generalisable to programmes in which qualification for Honours depends on CAP at the end of the third year. Apparently, only 60 percent in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Science, and Nursing are eligible for an Honours degree, at least before they lowered the standards.