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 and provide interactive exercises and examples. There are no lectures—neither live nor recorded. The class is essentially self-paced, with frequent assignments and online office hours. The textbook, topic schedule, assignments, and scores are online. You will need to use the current version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari. 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 300 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 4 days before the summer session 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 online office hours and the discussion board, the email address for homework access might not be your Gmail address.

Generally, four problem sets are due every week. They can be submitted early, but not late. Two assignments are due on the second day 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 85% or higher on that assignment; otherwise, you get no credit for that assignment—it counts as a zero. You did not master the material adequately.

Overall homework grades will be based on the percentage of assignments on which you score 85% or higher on your last submission. In addition, there is one overall percentage point of extra credit for each assignment on which you score 100%. Thus, if I end up assigning 25 homework sets, the maximum possible homework score would be 125%, corresponding to 100% on each set, plus 25 points of extra credit. If there are 25 sets and your scores are five 80s, ten 90s and ten 100s, you get no credit for the five 80s, but you do get credit for the ten 90s and the ten 100s; moreover, you get an extra 10 points for the ten 100s, so your homework score is (20/25)×100% + 10% = 90%.

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.

Midterm: The summer version of this course has no midterm.

Final Exam: The final exam will be on campus on 14 August 2009, 8–11am, room 155 Dwinelle. The final is cumulative. Practice materials are available online.

If you are unable to be on campus on 14 August but will be in a major metropolitan area in the U.S., alternative arrangements can be made to take the exam with a proctor. Contact the Summer Sessions Program Manager (not Prof. Stark, not a GSI) to arrange proctoring.

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), a calculator, a pen, extra scantron forms to auction to people who forgot to bring their own, etc. 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 average of homework and final, with equal weight.

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 and the course grade will be posted online.

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). Graduate student instructors hold online office hours and reply to email and discussion board questions. The GSIs are:

Office hours. I will not hold regular office hours, but I will drop in on GSI-led online office hours. I will also drop by the Student Learning Center on occasion to take the pulse of the class.

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) will hold online office hours at scheduled times for groups of up to 15 students at a time. Office hours will take place using Google Talk. Office hours will be in hour-long sessions. Each student may attend five hours per week of office hours. Office hours are first-come, first-served.

To attend office hours, you must have a Gmail account. Initiate a chat with the GSI who is holding office hours using his or her Gmail address. If there are fewer than 15 people in the office, the GSI will add you to a group chat with the other students. If there are already 15 students attending, the GSI is clearly busy—he or she will not be able to add you to the room and might not be able to reply quickly to your request to be added.

GSI office hours are as follows. "M" is Moorea, "S" is Sean and "T" is Tatiana. "O" is online; "I" is in-person at the Student Learning Center. Office hours are first-come, first-served, with a limit of 15 students at a time for each GSI. Changes/exceptions to office hours will be posted on the Google Group for the course.

Summer Sessions Program Manager. The program manager for this course is Tracie Littlejohn, 510-642-3183 (tlittlejohn [at] unex [dot] berkeley [dot] edu). Please contact the program manager if you have questions or problems with the following:

Technical support. Technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone (866-786-8197), email (onlinehelp [at] berkeley [dot] edu).

Discussion Board and Email policy. There is a Google Group for threaded asynchronous discussion. The URL of the group is The email address of the group is ucb-stat-n21-09 [at] googlegroups [dot] com. Please post directly to an open thread. There will be threads for administrative matters, course content, and student-to-student issues.

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

The GSIs and I will try to answer questions posted to the administrative or course content threads within 12 hours, on weekdays. Please post questions about the material or the administration of the course to the discussion board. Use email for personal matters, and please send email to your GSI, not to me. If your GSI cannot answer the question, 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. 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 final exam, please have your Disabled Student Program Specialist send me a formal request by email by 15 July 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 virtual office hours. Post questions to the discussion board. Check the announcements daily.

Most general questions about the course have answers in this page, the topic schedule and assignments page, 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. Iam 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 page
  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 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.

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.

Student Learning Center. The Student Learning Center (SLC) also offers help with introductory statistics classes. The SLC devotes special resources to this course.