M362K, Probability, Spring 2002

Unique number: 55485

Meeting time and place: TuTh 11-12:30, RLM 5.118

Instructor: Lorenzo Sadun, RLM 9.114, x1-7121

Web site: http://www.ma.utexas.edu/users/sadun/S02/M362K/

Office hours: MW 10-11, Tu-Th 8:30-9:15

Textbook: An Introduction to Probability and Its Applications, by R. Larsen & M. Marx. We will cover the whole book reasonably thoroughly, skipping only occasional sections. This book is very easy to read, with lots and lots of examples. We will go over some of the examples in class; you are expected to work through the remaining examples at home.

Prerequisites: M408D, 808B, or equivalent. THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT! In particular, you should be familiar with exponential functions, you should know how to integrate by parts, and you shouldn't be too scared of infinite series.

Homework: There will be weekly problem sets, posted on the class web page, and due at the beginning of class on Tuesdays (except for exam weeks). We will usually then go over selected problems. As a result, late homework will NOT be accepted. You are encouraged to work together. If you do not understand how to do a problem, please ask a friend! By talking things over, you'll both learn more. Of course, your homework papers should in the end reflect your own understanding (i.e., you can't just copy somebody else's paper), but collaboration is a very good way to achieve that understanding.

Remember that homework is primarily for learning, not for grading. Probability is often counterintuitive at first, and it takes a lot of experience to develop an intuition you can really trust. The only way to get this experience is to work problems.

Tests: There will be three midterm exams, on Thursday, February 7, Thursday, March 7 (the day before Spring Break) and some time in early April 9. The final exam will be on Friday, May 10, 2-5. The midterms and final will be closed book, but you will be allowed to bring in a page of handwritten notes to each exam.

Grading and overcounting: Each midterm will count 20%, the final will count 40%, and the homework will count 20%, with the lowest 20% dropped at the end of the term.

Disabilities: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.