Welcome to Statistics 21, Fall 2009. Please read this page completely. The assignment schedule is posted. If you do not complete the first two assignments on time, you will be dropped from the course. To see the due dates and log in, first select this course from the drop-down menu. Then read the entire page: The instructions and troubleshooting advice are crucial. Mozilla Firefox is the only browser supported. Join the discussion group if you are enrolled in the course.

Recording/Webcasting. This class will be recorded (webcast)—both audio and video. We expect to publish the recordings on the Internet, through Berkeley's Webcast service, Apple iTunes University, and YouTube. The camera operator will try to record the screen and/or me, and will try not to record students, but there is a chance that students will be recorded inadvertently or unavoidably. If you have concerns about this, please contact me. Otherwise, attending the lectures is tacit consent to be recorded and for the recording to be published on the Internet.

Description. Statistics 21 is a service course designed primarily for Business students. It is not very mathematical. Neither linear algebra nor calculus is required, although some concepts seem more natural if you understand integration and differentiation. You do need to be comfortable with math at the level of high-school algebra (e.g., the equation of a straight line, plotting points, taking powers and roots, percentages). Tight logical reasoning is crucial for success. The beginning of the course introduces reasoning and logic; there is a more mathematical treatment of logic in the middle of the course. The middle of the course involves a fair amount of combinatorics—counting. The emphasis of the course is critical thinking about quantitative evidence. Topics include reasoning and fallacies, descriptive statistics, association, correlation, regression, elements of probability, set theory, propositional logic, chance variability, random variables, expectation, standard error, sampling, hypothesis tests, confidence intervals, experiments and observational studies, as well as common techniques of presenting data in misleading ways.

The course uses the Internet to distribute information, promote discussion, and provide interactive exercises and examples. The textbook, topic schedule, assignments, and scores are online. You will need to use the current version of Mozilla Firefox to access the homework. Google Chrome and Apple Safari work for most things in the course, but not reliably for the first six homework sets. Microsoft Internet Explorer is not recommended: It is a security risk to you, it is not completely standards-compliant, and it does not work as well with these materials. I strongly recommend that you not use Internet Explorer for anything.

Enrollment. All enrollment is through TeleBears. Enrollment is limited to 100 students. There is no waiting list other than the TeleBears waiting list. Don't ask.

Required Text: SticiGui Online Text. It is free.

Recommended Texts:

Relevant, Fun and Interesting Reading:

Homework assignments are due as posted online. You will not be able to access the problem sets until the semester starts. If you try to access the sets before then, you will get a message "this SID is not enrolled." That has nothing to do with your registration in the course. Be patient. Don't send me email about it.

The email address to access the homework is the email address you had on record in CalNet at the beginning of the term. Even though you need a Gmail address for the discussion board, the email address for homework access might not be your Gmail address.

Generally, two problem sets are due every week. They can be submitted early, but not late. Two assignments are due the second week of class.

No late assignments will be accepted, for any reason, including, but not limited to, Internet congestion, system crashes, natural disasters, theft, and your pet's dietary idiosyncrasies. Don't ask. If you wait until the last hour to do an assignment, you substantially increase the risk that server traffic will delay your submission. I can't help that and I won't be sympathetic. Plan ahead and pace yourself.

You are allowed to submit each assignment up to five times before the due date. The last submission (not necessarily the one with the highest score) counts. You can see your score after each of the first three submissions. After the fourth and fifth submissions, you can see your score and which problems you missed: The problems you missed are identified on the confirmation screen after you submit—not in the problem set itself. You only get that one chance to write them down, and there is no other way to see which problems you missed until after the due date. The problems are identified as (Qxx), which matches the Q-numbers in the assignment. Q-numbers and Problem numbers are not the same: Problems can have many parts, each of which has a Q-number.

After the due date of each assignment, you can see the correct answers by opening the assignment again. After the due date, when you answer each problem, you will see an X or a check mark, just like in the book chapters.

This class uses mastery based grading for the homework. You get credit for a homework assignment only if you get a score of 80% or higher on that assignment. If you score below 80% on an assignment, you get no credit for that assignment—it counts as a zero. You did not master the material adequately.

If your score on an assignment 80% or higher, the credit you get is your score. Thus, if I end up assigning 25 homework sets and your scores are five 70s, five 80s, five 90s and ten 100s, you get no credit for the five 70s. Your homework score is

(5×80 + 5×90 + 10×100)/25 = 74%.

The homework assignments are substantially more difficult than the final exam. They often require quite a bit of thought. Some ask you to apply the material to more complex problems that—superficially—are not like any problem in the book. In contrast, the depth of exam questions is limited by the duration of the exam. Exam questions are more like the questions on the practice exams and in the book chapters. I design the exams so that the faster students will finish in less than half the time available. Most students do not feel time pressure in the exams. Historically, the first students leave midterms after about 35 minutes, and the first students leave finals after about an hour and ten minutes.

Midterm: There is a midterm exam on Tuesday, 6 October 2009, in class. No make-up or alternative time will be offered. You must bring a 100-question scantron form (form 882), a number 2 pencil and your student ID to the midterm. You may bring one page of notes, front and back (2 sides, typed or handwritten), a calculator, a pen, etc. Calculators that have wireless communication or the ability to store notes, webpages, images, or the like are not permitted. You may not use any wireless device (including cell phones), PDA, computer, scratch paper, etc.

Final Exam: The final exam is Tuesday, 15 December 2009, 5pm–8pm. The final is cumulative. Practice materials are available online.

If you are unable to take the final as scheduled, do not take the class. No alternative time for the final will be offered.

You must bring a 100-question scantron form (form 882), a number 2 pencil and your student ID to the final. You may bring two pages of notes, front and back (4 sides, typed or handwritten), a calculator, a pen, extra scantron forms to auction to people who forgot to bring their own, etc. Calculators that have wireless communication or the ability to store notes, webpages, images, or the like are not permitted. You may not use any wireless device (including cell phones), PDA, computer, scratch paper, etc.

Grading. To pass the course (with a D), you must make at least 66% on the homework and at least 60% on the final. If you meet both criteria, your course grade is the weighted average of homework (45% weight), midterm (10%), and final (45%). If you get below 66% on the homework or below 60% on the final, you fail the course.

Grades will not be "curved," so you are not in competition with anyone else. It is possible for everyone to make an A (or an F). Grades on assignments and exams will be posted online. The course grade will be posted in BearFacts.

HOWEVER, I will take points off your grade if you violate the email policy.

Academic Honesty. Do your own work. Collaborating on homework is fine—but copying is not, nor is having somebody else submit assignments for you. Cheating will not be tolerated. Anyone found cheating will receive an F and will be reported to the Student Conduct Office.

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs). The GSI for the course is Wayne Lee (lwtai [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu). He will hold office hours at the Student Learning Center on Mondays 10am–11am and 2pm–3pm, and in room 307 Evans Hall Fridays 11am–noon and 3pm–4pm.

Office hours. My office hours are Thursdays from 1–2pm at the Student Learning Center. Office hours are first come, first served.

Discussion Board and Email policy. Please do not send me email unless you have a [real] emergency, need an exam accommodation, or need to discuss something privately. You may also approach me before class, during the break, after class, or during office hours. The GSI has office hours as well.

If you have questions outside class and office hours, post them to the discussion board, which is a Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/ucb-stat-21-fall-09. The email address of the group is ucb-stat-21-fall-09 [at] googlegroups [dot] com. You must sign up for the group or you will miss crucial information. You are responsible for reading the discussion. Never post your SID to the discussion board.

To sign up for the discussion list, do the following:

Please post after-hours questions about the material or the administration of the course to the discussion board—but before posting a question, read the discussion board in case the question has already been answered. I will try to answer questions posted to the discussion board within 12 hours, on weekdays. Use email—not the discussion board—for personal matters, and please send that email to your GSI, not to me. If your GSI cannot help you, he or she will forward the question to me. Please do not email me with questions about the course or course material—there are simply too many students enrolled for me to be able to respond to individual questions. Use the discussion board instead. Please do email me to make bug and typo reports. But before you conclude that something is a bug, be sure to read the instructions.

Accommodations for Disabilities. If you have a disability that requires an accommodation for the midterm or final exam, please have your Disabled Student Program Specialist send me a formal request by email by 15 September 2009.

Advice for success. Try to solve all exercises in each chapter: Some show up on exams. Read all homework and exam questions carefully, and take them literally—don't try to second-guess what is meant. Attend office hours. Post questions to the discussion board. Check the discussion board daily. Search the discussion board for answers before posting a question.

Most general questions about the course have answers in this page, the assignments page, the discussion board, or the class announcements. If you ask me a question that is answered in writing on the course website, you will irritate me. I'm not fun when I'm grumpy. Trust me.

Bug and typo reports. I am very grateful to be told about bugs and typos by email. But an error message caused by failure to follow directions is not a bug. If you are reporting a bug, be sure to include the following information, or it is unlikely that I can help you or fix the problem:

  1. your student ID number
  2. the browser you are using (Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer), including the version
  3. the operating system you are using (Mac, Windows, unix, linux), including the version
  4. a description of what you were doing when the problem occurred, including the URL of the page that has the problem
  5. a description of the symptom, including the wording of any error message you received
  6. the time and date the problem occurred.

Before you conclude that unexpected results are caused by a bug,

  1. Make sure you are using a compatible browser and a compatible version of the browser.
  2. Make sure your browser has JavaScript, Java, and cookies enabled. I recommend that you accept only cookies that get sent back to the originating server, not "third-party" cookies.
  3. Make sure you do not try to scroll down the page before the page has fully loaded.
  4. Try a "hard reload:" hold down the shift key while reloading the page.
  5. Clear the browser's cache. In Firefox, this is in the Tools->Options->Privacy->Cache menu. Click "Clear Cache Now." While you are at it, go to the Tools->Options->Privacy->Cookies menu, and tell Firefox to accept cookies for the originating site only.
  6. Try restarting the browser after clearing its cache.
  7. Try restarting the computer.
  8. If the problem is that you cannot access an online assignment,
  9. If the problem is that applets display incorrectly, try turning off all graphics acceleration.

Tutors and other academic support.

Student Learning Center. The Student Learning Center (SLC) offers help with introductory statistics classes. The SLC devotes special resources to this course on Mondays and Wednesdays 4–5pm, in room 330 Evans.

Outside tutors. The Statistics Department has a list of people who have offered to tutor introductory statistics. The Department does not vouch for the proficiency of the tutors, and makes no recommendation, but keeps a list as a service to students.