The Data

This lab works a bit differently from all your previous labs. In this lab, you will be taking publicly available data and performing your own analysis on it. While this change is definitely being done due to the current pandemic, this process is also something that is commonly done in science. The National Science Foundation (NSF) strives to make all data from research that it funds public as does the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the logic being that since the public paid for it the public should see what it paid for). Some of the data available from NIH can be found in this database.

The data for this lab are the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. The data come from two different sources, the World Health Organization (WHO)[1] and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)[2] as compiled by the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University[3]. The data are provided in an Excel spreadsheet with three columns: date, WHO count, and CDC count.

The data can be found at this sheet.


  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Response. COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Data Access, Summary, and Limitations:
  3. Dong, Ensheng, Hongru Du, and Lauren Gardner. “An Interactive Web-Based Dashboard to Track COVID-19 in Real Time.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases 20, no. 5 (May 1, 2020): 533–34.


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Physics 132 Lab Manual by Brokk Toggerson and Aidan Philbin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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