Statistics is a science that helps us make decisions and draw conclusions in the presence of variability. For example, civil engineers working in the transportation field are concerned about the capacity of regional highway systems. A typical problem would involve data on the number of nonwork, home-based trips, the number of persons per household, and the number of vehicles per household, and the objective would be to produce a trip-generation model relating trips to the number of persons per household and the number of vehicles per household. A statistical technique called regression analysis can be used to construct this model. The trip-generation model is an important tool for transportation systems planning. Regression methods are among the most widely used statistical techniques in engineering. They are presented in Chapters 11 and 12.

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) are an important part of the health-care delivery system. The process by which patients arrive at the ED is highly variable and can depend on the hour of the day and the day of the week, as well as on longer-term cyclical variations. The service process is also highly variable, depending on the types of services that the patients require, the number of patients in the ED, and how the ED is staffed and organized. The capacity of an ED is also limited, so consequently some patients experience long waiting ...

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