We will be reading from the third edition of Statistics by Freedman, Pisani, and Purves.
General Course Outline
You have probably heard that statistical information can be manipulated to demonstrate any point, but do you really understand what this means? In Chance, we will use current events to examine various statistical concepts including, but certainly not limited to, standard deviation, confidence intervals, regression, and correlation. By the end of the course, you will be expected to be able to critically analyze the statistics you come across in your day-to-day life and understand how they may have been manipulated. In addition, you will ultimately produce statistical information of your own, complete with analysis.
Chance is not a conventional math course: there will be very little lecture. Instead, the class will be very oriented towards group work and in-class discussion. The goal will be to work together to extract the statistical and probabalistic concepts from the current events we will be studying. It is very important that you attend class regularly and participate whole-heartedly in the discussions. You'll find that by participating, you will have a more enjoyable time in class and develop a firmer grasp of the material. With this in mind, we have made class participation a determining factor in your final grade.
You will keep a journal for this course. Your journal will be a very important part of the work you do. It is a place where you can reflect on what you have seen in class, to answer questions we pose, to ask questions of your own, and, perhaps most importantly, to analyze statistics you see outside of class.
Note: We reserve the right to (and probably will) refuse late journals.
Homework will be assigned roughly each class meeting. The homework will be a mix of reading from the book and problems accompanying the reading. You are expected to keep current with the reading; it will be part of our discussion. Homework problems will not be collected. Instead, each week there will be a 10-minute quiz consisting of 1 or 2 problems from the previous week's assignments. In determining your final grade, your lowest quiz score will be dropped. This includes missed quizzes/low scores due to illness or other excuses.
There will be no final exam. Instead, you will prepare a large final project which will be the culmination of your work in the course. At the very end of the term, the class will put on the Chance Fair, where you will be able to display and explain your project.
Grades for the course will be determined based on the following percentages:
If you have questions or concerns about the course, either instructor would be very happy to talk with you during office hours or by appointment. Please don't hesitate to come in.
The Honor Principle
The Honor Principle applies to this class in the following way: You are highly encouraged to talk to each other about ideas outside of class. However, all journal entries must be your own work and words. If you work with someone else on an idea, make sure to include the person's name in your entry.
If you are a student with a disability, including an "invisible" disability such as a chronic disease or a learning disability, you are encouraged to discuss with the professors any appropriate accomodations that can be made on your behalf. Also, stop by the Academic Skills Center to register for support services.