Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge


Cause or Correlation?

CBM Proficient (ages 13 and up)
2 Certifications
Estimated Time: 3hr
Course Level: CBM Proficient (ages 13 and up)
Requirements: This course requires basic working knowledge of the Wolfram Language, common data visualisations (histograms) and statistics (mean, median).
Certification Levels: Course completion, Wolfram Certified Level I

Sign In to Start Free Course


Knowing how one variable affects another is important in many instances in real life, from medical diagnoses to environmental impacts or financial trends. In this course, you will learn about dependent connections between variables, the possible cause(s) for such dependencies and how these are often misused in the media to make claims that are incorrect—particularly about how adopting one behaviour can cause something positive or negative to happen.

You'll Learn To

Solve a real problem using the computational thinking process

Define the problem precisely by using the terms correlation, dependence and cause correctly

Choose and apply real tools to calculate correlation coefficients

Interpret the results of the analysis and present an opinion based upon evidence

Be suspicious when zero correlation is found

Be wary of media reports that state “Doing X causes Y!”


This self-study resource is part of the Computer-Based Maths (CBM) project and works in the Wolfram Cloud. It's free and easy to get started using the Wolfram Cloud—sign in with your Wolfram ID or create one. No plan is required. This full interactive course includes video reviews, chapter quizzes and an independent project. A certificate of course completion is available (further certification will be available in the future).

First time with our Computational Thinking modules? Please watch the video.