MATH 371 - Probability

Professor: Erich Friedman

About the course:

We will meet every MWF at 1:30 in Elizabeth 202. This course will essentially cover the first ten chapters of the text, Fundamentals of Probability by Ghahramani. This course is an introduction to the mathematics of chance, including combinatorial probability, conditional probability, probability densities and distributions, discrete and continuous random variables, joint probability, and limit theorems. Probability has been an active field for over 300 years. Some students think it is hard, because it is often non-intuitive, but you will find it extremely valuable to learn about the mathematics of chance.

About me:

My e-mail address is My web page can be found at My office is Elizabeth 214-2. My office hours this semester are:

This means that I am always in my office during these times, and you can drop by without an appointment. If you cannot make my regularly scheduled hours, let me know and we can set up another time to talk. Please come by if you need help, or if you just want to chat. You will soon see that my lecture style is informal. I will be calling you by your first name (or a nickname if you prefer), so please call me Erich.

About you:

You will need a working knowledge of MATH 243 and MATH 255. In particular, we first use set theory and proofs in week 1, factorials in week 2, continuity in week 6, Taylor series in week 8, geometric series in week 9, differentiation and integration in week 10, the fundamental theorem of calculus in week 11, sequences in week 12, and partial derivatives and multiple integrals in week 13.

Please review now, as there will be no time for it later. If you fall behind, come see me as soon as possible. Attendance in this class is not mandatory, but it will be very hard for you to learn this material on your own if you do not come to class. Please be respectful of both me and your classmates. This means coming to class on time and not socializing in class.

About the Math Department:

I am usually available to answer your questions, in and out of class, but the math department offers several additional ways to get help. Much of the day, a free math tutor can be found in the math office, Elizabeth 211. Also, the math secretary has a list of paid tutors available at other times. There is also a math clinic which runs every MTWTh 2:30 - 4:30 and 7:00 - 10:00 pm in Elizabeth 209. Please seek help as soon as you fall behind.

About the Honor Code:

Stetson has an honor code. You are not only expected to do your own work, but to tell me if another student is not. The punishment for cheating is an F in the course.

About your grade:

Homework will not be collected, but I will answer questions in class as time permits. These problems are an indication of what the test problems will look like. I encourage you to work together on the homework problems. You should do as much or as little homework as you need. The leading causes of failing this course are not doing enough homework, and not remembering things from previous courses.

Quizzes will be given on the 4 dates announced on the syllabus. These are one page long and cover recent material. Each quiz is worth 50 points.

Tests will be given on the 4 dates announced on the syllabus. Please check your schedule now to see that there are no conflicts. Missed quizzes or test incur a mandatory 10% per day penalty. You will be expected to show your work and justify your answers. You should bring a calculator to the quizzes and tests. Each test is worth 100 points.

The Final Exam is comprehensive and is worth 200 points. There are 800 points total. There is no extra credit available.