Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type



Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science

First Advisor

Holly Zullo

Second Advisor

Mark Parker

Third Advisor

Belle Marie


This thesis has three parts: an analysis of mountain lion data provided by Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, a study of the strength of correlations with small data sets, and preparation of a beginner’s user manual for the statistical package R. The analysis of the mountain lion data showed correlations in which the coefficient of determination was around 0.60 with a data set of size five. A simulation was written in R to determine the likelihood of seeing this strength of correlation, and it was found that a coefficient of at least 0.60 occurs in only 13% of cases. The open source statistical package, R, was used for all analysis. In the course of learning R, a manual was prepared to assist future students in learning this valuable software package.