- Office: RLM 10.136
- Phone: 471-6142
- Message: 471-7711
- Email: mks@math.utexas.edu

Grinstead and Snell, Introduction to Probability, available in PDF format from http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/teaching_aids/books_articles/probability_book/book.html

Ghahramani, Fundamentals of Probability, Prentice Hall.

** Although M 325K (Discrete Mathematics) is not a prerequisite for this course, many students have said in the past that it is helpful to take M 325K (or CS 336, which is a similar course, or at least PHL 313K) before, or at least along with, M 362K. If you have not had M 325K or CS 336, you may need to spend extra time in Chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook. If you would like to consult an extra reference for help in these sections, I suggest Epp,

Technology Use

- Introduction to random variables and probability. (Notes and part of Chapter 2)
- Discrete probability and Combinatorics (Chapter 2, incorporating parts of Chapter 1 as they are needed.)
- Conditional Probability, Bayes' Theorem, and Independent Events (Chapter 3, with occasional supplementation.)
- Random Variables (Sections 4.1 - 4.2 along with 5.1, part of 5.3 and possibly 4.9)
- Expected Value and Variance (Sections 4.4, 4.5, 5.2 and 5.3 and perhaps some supplementation)
- Special random variables and the Central Limit Theorem (Sections 4.6, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.8.1, 5.4, 5.4.1, 5.5 and part of 8.3, plus some supplementation)
- Functions of random variables, joint and conditional distributions, and sums of independent random variables (Sections 5.7, 6.1 - 6.5)
- Properties of sums of random variables (Sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.3)
- Limit Theorems (Sections 8.1 - 8.2 and maybe more on 8.3)

Class Format

What I Expect of You

- Take responsibility for your own learning.
- Take responsibility for reviewing or learning any prerequisite material that you may be weak on or have forgotten
- Do all assignments on time, including those not to be handed in.
- Review written homework and exams when it is returned, and try to learn from your mistakes or omissions
- Spend at least six hours (of quality time) per week on this class, in addition class time.
- Stretch yourself mentally.
- Read all reading assignments slowly and carefully, aiming for comprehension and filling in details. Pay attention to any reading guidelines given.
- Attend class. (Get contact information for at least two students in the class whom you can contact for what you missed if you must unavoidably miss class.)
- Pay attention in class and participate in class activities and discussion. (Participate in group activities, volunteer to present problems at the board, volunteer to answer questions posed to the class, ask questions whenever you think they may be of interest to other students in the class.)
- Be considerate of other students in the class. (Turn off cell phones and beepers during class time; listen when other students are talking; give other students a chance to participate in whole-class discussion; wait until you are called on instead of interrupting other students; work cooperatively with other students in group activities; don't read the newspaper in class; don't make disparaging comments about other students; save questions that are not of interest to the whole class until after class or office hours.)
- Learn technical vocabulary (Pay attention to how words may be used differently in probability than they are in everyday usage or in other areas of mathematics or other technical uses; practice using technical vocabulary appropriately and combining it grammatically with ordinary English; understand the concept behind the word, not just the word.)
- Pay attention to deciding what technique to use when and why, as well as on carrying out techniques.
- Write up assignments according the Guidelines for Writing Homework; aim to explain your process and reasoning, not just get the right answer.
- Cultivate the habit of thinking probabilistically about the
world around you.

Written homework 20%

Three mid-semester exams 15% each

Final exam 25%

Class participation and attitude 10%

I may occasionally give extra credit assignments, which may influence your grade positively if they are of high quality.

I will not "curve" grades (although we may discuss as part of the course what "curving" means). Unless told otherwise, homework and exam grades will be based on the scale

A: 90 - 100%, B: 80 - 89%, C: 70 - 79%, D: 60 - 69%, F: < 60% (without rounding).

- For many class days, you will be given reading assignments from the textbook or handouts available on the web. These will usually be accompanied by a study guide pointing out items to pay particular attention to.
- You may also be given questions or problems for class discussion.
- About once a week, you will be asked to hand in written problem
solutions. Quality of exposition will be one factor in your homework grade,
so be sure to follow the Guidelines
for Written Homework in writing up your homework. Written homework
is due at the
*beginning*of the class at which it is due. Homework problems will vary in difficulty. Some problems will be "exercises": practice of techniques or reinforcement of vocabulary or concepts studied in class. Others will be real "problems" where you need to apply what you have learned in class and reading, perhaps modifying techniques, combining several ideas, or using concepts in different ways than they have been used in class or the textbook examples. Some might be classifiable as mini-projects.

1. Many employers complain that students have poor communication skills and poor skills in working with others. Class participation is a good way to practice oral (and some written) communication skills and working with others in a task-oriented context.

2. Communicating mathematics, orally as well as in writing, can help you learn mathematical vocabulary, concepts, and reasoning.

3. Regular active involvement in learning promotes thorough and long term learning better than passively attending lecture, doing homework just to get it done, and studying only for exams.

Your class participation grade includes the following:

- Attendance. I will not take attendance every day, but will do so occasionally -- sometimes by means of an assignment to be done and handed in during class.
- Paying attention in class. This means listening to other students as well as to me.
- Refraining from disruptive behaviors.
- Participation in class discussion. This doesn't mean that the people who talk the most have the best class participation. Quality counts. Seriously trying counts. Giving others a fair chance to participate also counts.
- Participation in group activities.
- Volunteering to present problems at the board.

The following behaviors reflect a constructive attitude:

- Doing reading and discussion assignments before class.
- Learning for understanding.
- Regarding problem solutions as something to figure out (rather than
expecting just to practice procedures you have been taught.)

- Taking the time to review concepts involved when trying homework
problems.

- Being prepared when you ask a question in class or office hours (for example, saying, "In problem ___, I understand ___, but haven't been able to figure out whether ___ or ___,")
- Viewing mathematics as something to be figured out by thinking, rather than as information to be absorbed passively or purely by memorization.
- Responding to a question by saying, "I think it's ___, because ___."

- Persisting when you have difficulty rather than giving up.
- Applying what you learn in this class to the world around you; making connections between this course and other courses.
- Studying regularly, not just for exams.

- Focusing on memorizing facts and procedures and not taking the time to understand concepts or figure out problem solutions.
- Answering a question by asking, "Is it ___ ?" (I know that this will involve breaking long-standing habits for some of you, so I won't penalize you if you start off this way but make a serious effort to learn better habits.)
- Asking questions like, "Can you do problem ___?"or "Can you show
me how to do problem ___?"rather than telling me what you have tried so far
and where you are stuck.

- Giving up on a problem or asking me to show you how to do it when you have only tried it for ten minutes.
- Telling me you think you deserve a better grade on the exam because you really tried -- you stayed up late studying and memorized all the formulas and homework problems.
- Trying to convince me to give you a higher grade because you need it to make the Dean's list (or stay off probation, or keep your scholarship, or …).
- Telling me you deserve a better grade because you feel you understand the material (or because you understand it, but just can't explain it).
- Studying to pass the test rather than to learn.

Policy on Authorized and Unauthorized Collaboration

The following type of collaboration

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,

The following types of collaboration are

1. Working together with one person the doer 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.

Students with Disabilities

Deadlines for dropping courses

- Tuesday, September 2 is the last day of the official add/drop period; drops after this date require approval.
- Friday, September 12 is the last day to drop a class for a possible refund.
- Wednesday, September 24 is the last day to drop without a possible academic penalty.
- Wednesday, October 22 is the last day an undergraduate may, with the Dean's approval, drop a course with a Q (instructor's signature may be needed on the drop form) or withdraw from the University except for urgent and substantiated nonacademic reasons. Also last day to change to or from pass/fail basis.