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Charting Success

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Pythagoreans from All Saints School in Dagenham analysed and commented on four of the diagrams:


Scatter plot showing Federer's first serve landing points:

The Tennis diagram shows where the ball bounced, you can see that the tennis player did well but it doesn't show the speed the served ball was travelling at. The bounced balls could also be labeled better (e.g make the graph bigger and maybe add a few colours to the bounces that were close to each other).

It could also show serves that went out, because we don't know what percentage of serves were out.


League positions of teams in a football league during a season:

We do not like this graph! It is all over the place. The colours of the lines are confusing: when the lines intersect you can't see where they carry on because the colours are too similar. There is no key so we don't know which colour represents which team. There is too much information on the graph and so it is not clear. To improve it they could have separated the graph into a top half of the table and the bottom half, or a top six (European places) and bottom three (relegation zone).


Average speed and altitude of the terrain for a runner's 14 minute workout:

This graph is very well presented as it clearly shows the terrain that the runner is running on and the time the runner is taking to run it. The terrain is represented by a light grey colour which is also shown on the label of the axis representing the altitude of the ground in feet.

The minutes per mile is shown on the graph by a fluorescent green colour as is the label on the axis representing the minutes/mile.

The graph shows that when the height of the terrain dropped the runner must have been going downhill as the speed of the runner increased.

The only concern about the graph is that it's written in minutes/mile instead of miles/minute and the scale decreases rather than increases. This is unnecessarily confusing. If the scale was miles/minute the vertical axis would have increased as it went up rather than decreased.


Worm Graph:

This graph shows how many runs each team scored and the number of balls each team faced. We could tell from the graph which team won and we could also tell when one team was ahead in the run rate.

We could tell that the blue team scored very quickly at the beginning of the game but then  started to score fewer runs, perhaps because they lost some of their wickets.

The only thing that we can't see is who bowled first. We also can't see when each team lost their wickets. To improve the graph it should include crosses to tell you when they lost their wickets.