We can always compute an avera

We can always compute an average of a group of numbers, but we also need to ask whether or not the average will make any sense. For example, the following numbers are provided by Western Mine Engineering, Inc. (www.westernmine.com); they represent the operating cost indices for surface mines in the United States from 1988 to 2000: 85.5, 90.4, 95.7, 97.7, 98.7, 99.0, 100.0, 102.4, 105.7, 107.0, 106.7, 108.7, 113.5.

 (a) Compute the average of these 13 numbers.

(b) Does this number estimate some population parameter? If so, what is it?

(c) Compute the standard deviation of the numbers. What is the unit of measurement for the standard deviation?

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