Math 138-03 - Statistics - Fall 2011, Prof.
|MWF 10:20 - 11:20 a.m.
|Statistics, Freedman, et al., FOURTH edition.
Available in the bookstore, ISBN 0-393-92972-8.
We will cover almost the entire text.
|Approx eight quizzes at 25
drop the lowest two:
|150 points (approx)
|Three one-hour exams at 100 points each:
|Two group written assignments at 50
|Comprehensive Final exam:
|Three in-class worksheets
at 10 points each, drop the lowest one:
|Attendance & Participation
|805 points (approx)
For each graded piece of work, I will post cutoff scores for grades
of A-, B-, C, C-, and D. At the end of the term, if your point total is
more than the total of the A- cutoffs, your grade will be an A- or
and so on. Cutoffs will never be higher than: A-:
B-: 80% C: 70% C-:
D: 60% ... but they are often lower.
Course Goals: Upon
completion of this course, successful students will demonstrate the
ability to make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on
More specifically, students should be able to:
exams are full-period events based on the chapters covered since the
previous exam. Hour exams are tentatively planned for Sept. 21, Oct. 19, and Nov. 16, all Wednesdays. Any changes to these dates
will be announced at least two
class days in advance.
- Interpret and critically evaluate basic statistical statements,
both descriptive and inferential, particularly as they are found in
mass media, and to a lesser extent, as they are found in scholarly or
- Identify and critically analyze the basic methodology of
individual surveys, controlled experiments, and observational studies
to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and overall reliability.
- Make precise and correct (written) statements about the basic
statistical concepts covered in this course, especially in applying
them to particular case studies.
- Understand the rudiments of probability, particularly being able
to interpret the probabilistic meaning inherent in confidence intervals
and tests of statistical significance.
- Perform calculations of basic descriptive statistics,
probability, and confidence intervals, and perform basic tests of
The final exam is cumulative over the entire
The final exam is on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011,
from 8-11 a.m. For borderline grades,
I tend to pay more attention to the final exam score.
Exam makeup policy: Quiz, worksheet, or midterm make-ups or early quizzes or exams are
only for verifiable illness or for university-sanctioned
activities. For collegiate activities, you must see me before
leave to arrange a makeup time. In any case, you must contact me in
advance except in emergencies.
The final exam time and date is given above, as set by the
University; early finals will not be given. Please make travel
plans accordingly. Really. I mean it. If someone else will be making your travel
plans, it would be wise to notify them immediately of your
Quizzes are 15
to 25 minutes long, with problems that resemble homework. We will
usually have a quiz in any week without an exam or a written assignment
will be two special projects assigned late in the term that will apply
some of the concepts of the course. These will be done in groups;
will be announced.
Homework is assigned daily but not
however, skipping or putting off homework will damage your
grade badly. Don't let this happen to you.
Careful and precise writing is required on quizzes and exams. Such writing does
not come automatically, so it will help to practice careful writing on
worksheets, and attendance:
It is expected that students make every effort to come to every class
prepared to discuss the assigned readings. We will have a few
worksheets; normally makeup worksheets will only
given for verifiable illness or pre-arranged collegiate
activities. Attendance is figured into your participation grade
as follows: There is
no deduction for the first 4 absences. Two points are deducted
the 5th and 6th absences, and three points for the 7th absence
each subsequent absence. Late arrivals, especially
when repeated, may be counted as an absence. While it is awkward
in the class grade, my experience shows that it is a helpful incentive
for many students.
Please note that the two "dropped" quizzes, the one dropped worksheet and
four absences without deduction are built into
the grading system to allow the students some flexibility and to allow
for the unexpected difficulties in students' lives. Students can
use this flexibility so that an overslept morning, an appointment, a
day", a day of unpreparedness, or other event will not damage their
Please be aware, though, that it is the students' choice to use these
save them for unexpected difficulties later in the term; once they are
used up, they are gone.
For example, if a student wishes to "spend" the two quiz drops on two
quizzes that went poorly early in the term, then there is no remaining
quiz flexibility for oversleeping or personal holidays.
Accommodations for students with disabilities: Accomodations
required by students with disabilities will be provided upon reasonable
advance notice and verification of requirement/eligibility from the Office of Disability Services (Bishop Wellness Center). If you forsee needing an accomodation, it is probably best to inquire at the Office of Disability Services at the start of the semester.
Policy on in-class distractions and cell phones: It
is important to respect the concentration and attention of each student
in the class. Class time is limited, precious, and the tuition is
quite expensive per minute. Arriving late for class is severely frowned upon, and may be counted as an absence. Electronic devices not
required for the course must be turned off during class time.
Exceptions include calculators, and special-needs aids such as
lecture-recording devices. If your cell phone rings during
regular class time, you will be required to bring cookies for the entire
class at the next class meeting. During exams and quizzes, the
penalty is more specific: two points for each ring, or one point per
second of audible sound, whichever is greater. Please help me hold distractions for your fellow students to an absolute minimum.
Academic Honesty Expectations
All exams and quizzes are to be taken with books and notes closed
as noted on the exam paper), completely on your own. Anything you can
store on an ordinary graphing calculator is acceptable at all times,
but written notes
are prohibited. Palmtop computers, PDAs, laptop computers, cell
phones, Blackberries, and especially any equipment that communicates
wirelessly will not be allowed in quizzes
On written group assignments, you may (and should) discuss the
methods of approach, examples you have found, and even the solution(s),
with anyone. You may use any source you find useful, but you must
your sources in writing in the assignment. Grading is based
on the amount of thought that students have applied to those
and the extent to which they have demonstrated understanding of them.
Plagiarism is the copying or paraphrasing of any work from another
proper written acknowledgement. All group members are responsible
for knowing all the sources their group's members used in making a
All involved with plagiarized projects will receive failing project
In keeping with college policy, plagiarism will be reported to the
(see student handbook). Systematic or organized plagiarism on exams or
quizzes will result in course failure. If you are uncertain about some
aspect of the academic honesty policy, it is your responsibility to get
clarification from the instructor.
Last Modified August 26, 2011.
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