STAT 134: General Information

The first half of the course is more ``conceptual": the math is pretty easy, but some people find translating concepts into mathematics difficult. The second half of the course is more calculus-like (involving e.g. multiple integrals). My style is to present the important concepts and to work examples in class - you then read the texts for more detailed discussions and more examples, and then test your understanding by working problems. Homeworks and exams emphasize problem-solving rather than mathematical proofs.

Homework assignments are exercises from the textbook. Homeworks are due Wednesdays in class. Late homeworks not accepted (except for honest illness, etc.) Homeworks will be returned via the GSI office hours. Solutions will be posted (3rd floor Evans), but you may not duplicate the written solutions.

It is important to ``keep up" with the class. You should have a (very basic) calculator for homeworks and exams; but you are not supposed to do problems via extensive computation!

Exams are ``open notes" in the following sense: you may use anything in your own handwriting (e.g. class notes, homework, a course summary you make up); but not books or material which has been electronically reproduced (except: bring xerox copy of Normal table). You are expected to learn the material in the book, except for those ``optional" sections of the book which are not treated in class.

Grading: 50% final, 15% each of two midterms, 20% homework.

Note: Attending the final at the scheduled time is mandatory -- no rescheduling.

Study tips.

(a) While reading the text, it is a good idea to work some of the exercises within the chapters. Brief answers to odd-numbered exercises are in the book. Note those you've done, and save others for studying for exams.

(b) It is not a good use of time to mindlessly copy the posted homework solutions; rather, look at problems you got wrong, try again to do them, and then check your answer against the posted solution.

(c) It is a good idea to make your own list of ``key facts", and bring it to exams.


Anyone interested in "non-textbook" discussion of Probability should consult my List of non-technical books on probability.

For real-world applications of probability that are understandable at the STAT134 level see the book Probability Tales or my own Draft Lectures on Probability in the Real World.

You can check here how the bet on Obama's re-election is going. Recall we sold at 57.

And just for fun What really has a 1 in a million chance?

Here is the Understanding Uncertainty site mentioned in Lecture 3.