Math 138-03 -  Statistics - Fall 2011, Prof. Mark Janeba
 Meetings Text MWF 10:20 - 11:20 a.m. Ford  204 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 points each, drop the lowest two: 150 points (approx) Three one-hour exams at 100 points each: 300 points Two group written assignments at 50 points each: 100 points Comprehensive Final exam: 200 points Three in-class worksheets at 10 points each, drop the lowest one: 20 points Attendance & Participation 25 points Total: 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 better, and so on. Cutoffs will never be higher than: A-: 90%      B-: 80%     C: 70%     C-: 67%    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 quantitative information.

More specifically, students should be able to:
• 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 technical articles.
• 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 statistical significance.
Exams:  Hour 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.
The final exam is cumulative over the entire term.  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 given only for verifiable illness or for university-sanctioned intercollegiate activities. For collegiate activities, you must see me before you 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 committments.

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 due.

Written assignments:  There 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; details will be announced.

Homework  is assigned daily but not collected; 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 your homework.

Participation, 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 in-class worksheets; normally makeup worksheets will only be 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 for the 5th and 6th absences, and three points for the 7th absence and each subsequent absence.  Late arrivals, especially when repeated, may be counted as an absence.  While it is awkward to include attendance 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 the 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 "personal day", a day of unpreparedness, or other event will not damage their grade.  Please be aware, though, that it is the students' choice to use these days or 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.