Office hours

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Prerequisite

Text

The text will be supplemented with occasional lectures and/or notes going into the more mathematical aspects of the subject.

Nature of the course:

Statistics is a mathematical science rather than a branch of mathematics. Thus this course will have many aspects of a typical math course, but many aspects that are not typical of math courses

- In many problems you will need to combine common sense and everyday knowledge with mathematical and/or statistical techniques.
- Some questions on homework and exams will not have one correct answer; your grade on such questions will depend largely on the case you make for your answer, rather than just on the answer itself.
- Reading assignments from the text will be given. These need to be read with attention to detail as well as to getting the general idea.
- Learning new technical vocabulary is important. Some of it will be new technical meanings that are different from everyday meanings of words.
- Writing carefully and precisely is important.
- Class participation is expected.
- You will be expected to do a group project.

Grading:

Project 20%

Two midsemester exams 15% each

Final exam 20%

Class participation 5%

Pop quizzes 5%

As mentioned above and below, grading will be based not just on the final answer or on calculations, but also on the reasoning shown in arriving at your final answer.

Homework

2. Practice exercises. These will usually have answers

3. Written homework. These problems will usually be longer and/or more involved than practice exercises and exam questions. Consider each written homework assignment as a mini-take-home exam. See Guidelines for Written Homework and Policy on Late and Make-up Work below. Also bear in mind that

1. Remember that one important purpose of written homework is to practice thinking statistically and to show me how well you have progressed in your thinking.

In particular, just handing in computer output is not satisfactory. You will often need to include part of the output with your solution,

Do not hand in extra computer output.

4.

Also be careful not to use mathematical vocabulary inappropriately in a statistical context

5.

If you introduce a symbol, be sure to

Let µ be the mean of X.

Denote the mean of X by µ.

Let µ stand for the mean of X.

Except in unusual extenuating circumstances (e.g., someone who lives in Waco and is only in Austin for three hours each MWF), you will work on your project in a group of three or four people, since that will let you learn from discussion with other group members, and will reduce the work for any one individual in collecting the data.

You will have two preliminary project assignments throughout the semester, which will count as part of your project grade. The bulk of your project grade will be based on your final report, which will be due the last day of class.

I will give you more details as the semester progresses and we have introduced some necessary concepts and terminology.

Exams

Midsemester exams are

The final exam will be Monday, May 15, 2 - 5 p.m. I will

1. We will be covering material in class that
is not in the textbook.

2. Discussion is very helpful in learning statistical concepts and statistical thinking.

Since
the class is fairly large for class discussion, I will divide the class
into
two groups, which will alternate taking primary responsibility for
responding to questions
in class. When it is your group's turn to be responsible, be prepared
to put solutions on the board or the doc cam as well as answer
questions on the reading and exercises. But remember that answers to
questions that have answers in the back of the book usually need to be
more detailed than the answers in the back of the book, need
explanations, and need to be rephrased in your own words.
2. Discussion is very helpful in learning statistical concepts and statistical thinking.

Of course, you will need to do assignments for all days, since one day's assignment typically builds on the previous day's.

Please note: I expect students to make mistakes in class participation. Sometimes we learn best from our own or others' mistakes. What I look for in class participation is that you are trying, and thinking.

1. Late homework will

2. There will be no make-ups on midsemester exams

3. Late project assignments will be accepted , but your grade will be lowered by one letter grade per day late.

Ethical matters:

The following types of collaboration

1. Working on homework with someone who is at roughly the same stage of progress as you, provided both parties contribute in roughly equal quantity and quality (in particular, thinking) to whatever problem or problem parts they collaborate on. In fact,

2. A moderate amount of asking, "How do I do this on Minitab?" However, as you gain enough familiarity, you should get in the habit of using on-line help and trying logical possibilities, then asking for help only if these don't succeed after a reasonable try.

The following types of collaboration are

1. Working together with one person the do-er and one the follower.

2. Any type of copying. In particular, splitting up a problem so that different people do different parts is not authorized collaboration on homework. (A certain amount of this may be appropriate on your project.)

3. Possession or consultation of the Instructor's Solution Manual.

Academic dishonesty aside, asking anyone, "How do I do this problem?" (as opposed to questions like, "How do I carry out this detail of this technique?" or, "I'm not sure whether to proceed this way or this way; here is my thinking about each possibility; am I missing something?") is just cheating, since it avoids the most important part of learning statistics: developing your statistical thinking skills.

Use of Technology

- Homework assignments will usually be posted on the web.
- I will sometimes post class notes on the web before lectures.

- You might be given assignments that involve use of the web.
- I will sometimes send email messages to the class
using Blackboard.
*If the University does not have your current email address, you will miss these.*

Calculators

Computer Software

I will accept use of other software packages provided:

1. You don't ask me for help with them.

2. They can do what is needed.

3. You don't use them to replace doing your part (in particular, thinking) on homework.

4. You interpret output assuming I am unfamiliar with the package.

- Minitab for Windows is available at the Student Microcomputer Facility (SMF) in FAC 212. See http://www.utexas.edu/smf/ for information on how to open an account to print in this facility.
- A Windows version of Minitab is available via a Windows emulator. You can get a math department computer account in the Undergraduate Math Computer Lab ("The Big Lab"), RLM 7.122. Star Office, similar to Microsoft Office, is also available in the lab. For more information on using the lab, see the handout Using Minitab in M 358K.
- Connecting remotely to the ITS Windows Terminal Server from your own computer. This requires an IF account validated for use of the server. You will need to pay extra charges for using this service. You will also need to configure your remote desktop. For more information , see http://www.utexas.edu/cc/sds/products/minitab.html#Timesharing (Scroll down to the part that says "Using MINITAB on ITS Timesharing Systems".)
- If you wish to purchase or lease your own copy of Minitab, here are a couple of possible sources:

- e-academy offers 5-month Minitab for Window rental for $29.99
- Academic Superstore offers a Student Edition of Minitab for Windows for $55.95.

Data

Students with disabilities:

Drop dates:

LETTER TO M 358K STUDENTS

Dear M 358K student,

Welcome to M358K. I hope this class will be rewarding for you.

Statistics is not the same as mathematics, although it uses mathematics and you can bring many of your mathematical skills to the subject. In your probability course, you dealt with matters that were not as certain as most students expect mathematical topics to be. Statistics deals with uncertainty even more than probability does. The reason is that many aspects of real life are uncertain, and statistics studies precisely those uncertain aspects of real life. So be prepared to deal with some problems that are inherently messy, where you can't get the exact answer. However, not being able to get an exact answer does not mean that any answer is as good as any other. You need to use valid procedures to obtain your answer, and/or justify it by the specifics of the context. Good writing skills therefore become important. Using vocabulary appropriately and correctly is also important. So be sure to learn the technical meanings of terms, and to avoid confusing them with everyday or mathematical meanings. Also remember that in statistics, because we are constantly dealing with uncertainty, we don't "prove" things about the real world; we can just say whether or not the evidence supports a possible conclusion, and sometimes we can even say how well the evidence supports a possible conclusion.

I believe that learning best takes place when the learner has an appropriate balance of challenge and support. This course provides ample opportunities for challenge for most students (although just what is challenging may vary from student to student). I have tried to build some support mechanisms into the course structure. These include trying to make clear my expectations for you, giving study guides for some reading assignments, using class activities, simulations, and demonstrations to help aid understanding, incorporating mechanisms to promote class participation and reinforcement of material, and having you write and have accepted a project proposal before starting on your class project. However, the individual student must accept responsibility for making the most of these support mechanisms, for giving adequate time to the course, and for finding other support mechanisms that might be needed. Different students have different needs, but here are some possibilities that are helpful for most students:

- Establishing a good relationship with one or more students in the class with whom you can discuss class work (Two heads are better than one!) or from whom you can obtain constructive emotional support. (Of course, you should be willing to expect to give as well as take in any such relationship.)
- Managing your time carefully so that you don't get behind. You will have assignments for almost every class, so be sure to plan accordingly.
- Paying attention to the guidelines I have given in the above First Day Handout, and that I will give in daily assignments and the Project assignments
- Practicing constructive self-talk. (Example: If you start thinking that you are "dumb" because you didn't see on your own something that seems obvious after someone else explained it, remind yourself that that happens to everyone, including extremely smart people.)
- Making maximum use of your own and others' mistakes as
learning experiences.

Many students find statistical concepts and statistical thinking difficult at first . Don't let the inevitable frustrations stop you. Keep coming back to the concepts, and keep on thinking. It really helps.

I look forward to seeing you learn and appreciate statistics and its many applications.

Sincerely,

Martha K. Smith

Professor of Mathematics