This course will introduce basic statistical tools from probability and descriptive statistics. These have valuable "real-world" applications in a variety of fields. We will explore many of these applications, in a wide range of areas, from gambling, to the stock market, to environmental concerns, to civil rights, to sports. The class will prepare you to take STAT 301, the main business statistics course.
Students having difficulty with the course are always welcome to see the instructor during office hours (listed in the course syllabus). The university also provides tutoring resources; the schedule is posted here.
Grades for the Fall Semester of 2016 are posted here. Students are identified by the last five digits of the student number. Grades are current through Sunday, November 20. Please inform the instructor (in writing via email) if there are errors in your recorded grades.
You learn from what you do, far more than from what you hear. Our time together in class will include a lecture component. But there will also be plenty of active learning opportunities in the classroom.
The bulk of the learning, however, will occur outside of class as you work through assigned problems on your own. Some of these will involve basic drill, to help you master the foundational concepts and computations in the class. We will then move beyond those basics, to apply the tools we have learned to some interesting real-world problems.
You are welcome, and encouraged, to consult with fellow students in completing these assignments. However, you final writeup must be your own, in your own words. Rule of thumb: if I can tell at a glance whom you worked with, then you have gone beyond the bounds of acceptable collaboration.
We will also be reading Darrell Huff's classic book How to Lie with Statistics in this course. You will complete a series of assignments that will help you retain and apply the concepts in that book.
The schedule below outlines the assignments and due dates for the semester. Please note that homework is NOT accepted late. However, your lowest two homework grades and lowest reading grade will be dropped, in computing your course grade.
NOTE THAT THIS SCHEDULE HAS BEEN MODIFIED. I have needed to make some changes, because of the class cancellations caused by Hurricane Matthew. Basically, two weeks' worth of material has been dropped. (Monday classes missed one day, but Wednesday classes missed two and I need to keep the two groups in sync.) Homework is still due as originally scheduled (save for one homework assignment that is cancelled). The university has scheduled classes on Saturday, 12/10, as a makeup day for Wednesday classes. I will use this time as an optional review session, and make it available to students in all sections. In particular:
Monday classes: You will meet Monday 10/17 (our first day back from hurricane/fall break), as originally scheduled. We will do the "Rankings and Ratings" in-class workshop, which was originally scheduled for the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Two assignments (Reading 2 and Reading 3) are due on 10/17.
Wednesday classes: You will have your first exam ("knowledge festival") on Wednesday 10/19. At this time, three assignments are due — Homework 4, Reading 2, and Reading 3. (Yeah, it seems like a lot ... but these were all originally due on/before this day.)
*Note that Monday classes do not meet during Week 2 (because of Labor Day) and Wednesday classes do not meet during Week 13 (because of the Thanksgiving holiday).