don steward
mathematics teaching 10 ~ 16

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

harmonic mean

if one piece of data is an extreme outlier it is recommended to use the harmonic mean to more appropriately represent an 'average' for the data set (but there are problems if one of the items in the data set is zero...)

try this for some simple data sets: compare the arithmetical mean with the harmonic mean where one of the numbers is large or small compared with the rest

for just two numbers, the arithmetical, geometric and harmonic means (along with the root mean square) can be represented by the following lengths:

establish that these lengths are the various means

the harmonic mean of two lengths occurs in the crossed ladders problem - for the height at which two crossed ladders 'meet' (i.e. 'h' from 'A' and 'B')

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