Welcome to Statistics W21, Summer 2011. Please read this page completely.

The URL for the class portal is http://www.willthatbeonthefinal.com:8088/portal. This link will not be live until a few days before the class starts. The textbook, webcast lectures, homework assignments, online office hours, discussion board, practice exams, etc., are all accessed through the class portal. Even though you can get to the textbook, lectures, and assignments without using the portal, you should go through the portal anyway so that the instructor and GSIs can monitor your progress in the course and give you the best possible help and support. It will also help you keep track of due dates and what you have and have not done.

To use the online materials, you will need Mozilla Firefox version 4.0.1. No other browsers are supported. You must have Java and Javascript enabled in the browser. The browser must accept cookies from the originating server. To participate in online office hours, you also need Adobe Flash version 10. To participate in the audio portion of online office hours, you need a Flash-compatible headset. To participate in the video portion of online office hours, you need a Flash-compatible webcam.

Two assignments are due on the second day of the term; they will be available two days before the class starts. You will not be able to log into the homework before then. If you do not complete those 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. Your browser needs to be up to date at the beginning of the term. During the term, do not update the browser beyond that version unless I post an announcement telling you to.

Webcast lectures. There are recorded lectures to go with every assigned chapter. Please access the lectures through the portal, http://www.willthatbeonthefinal.com:8088/portal.

Description. Statistics W21 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, lectures, office hours, topic schedule, assignments, and scores are all online. You will need to use the appropriate 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 reliably with these materials.

Enrollment. All enrollment is through TeleBears. Enrollment is limited to 425 students. Enrollment will close approximately 10 days before the class starts, to allow time for various behind-the-scenes administrative and logistic activities that must take place before the term starts. There is no waiting list other than the TeleBears waiting list. Don't ask.

Required Text: SticiGui. It is online and it is free. Please access it through the class portal, http://www.willthatbeonthefinal.com:8088/portal.

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 two days before 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.

Generally, four problem sets are due every week. They can be submitted early, but not late. Two assignments are due 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 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 in your homework average. 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: They count as zeros. 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 finals after about an hour and ten minutes.

Midterm: There is no midterm in Statistics W21.

Final Exam: The final will be on 12 August 2011 from 8-11am. You will be assigned to take the exam in one of two rooms: either 155 Dwinelle or 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB). Room assignments will be by last name; they will be announced by 10 August. Be sure to go to the room you are assigned to! The final is cumulative. Practice materials are available online.

If you will not be on campus for the final, it might be possible to take a proctored final off campus; contact the course manager (not the professor) to make arrangements.

You must bring a 100-question Scantron form (form 882), a number 2 pencil and your UC Berkeley student ID to the final. If you do not submit your answers to the final on Scantron form 882, I will not grade it. You will fail the course. If you are not in the Berkeley area, I would strongly recommend you get some Scantron forms 882 right away. If you leave it to the last minute, you might not be able to find one near you: You will then fail the course. The forms are for sale online. If you do not bring your student ID to the final (and show it when asked), I will not grade your exam. You will fail the course.

You may bring two pages of notes, front and back (4 sides, typed or handwritten), a calculator, a sliderule, a pen, extra scantron forms to auction to people who forgot to bring their own, etc.

The calculator may not have any functions other than the following six: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percent, and square-root. It may have a one-number memory. The TI-503SV, HP-QuickCalc, and HP EasyCalc 100 are examples of calculators that are permitted. The TI-503SV has a list price of $5 and can be purchased online for about $3.

Calculators with any statistical or probability functions (such as mean, standard deviation, correlation coefficient, regression, factorials, permutations, combinations, t-tests) are prohibited. "Scientific," "financial," and graphing calculators are prohibited. In particular, the TI-30X, TI-73, TI-83, TI-84, TI-89, HP-12C, HP-20b, HP-10s, and HP-40gs are prohibited. Calculators that have wireless communication or the ability to store notes, webpages, images, or the like are prohibited. 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 your homework and final grades, with equal weight. 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, the office hours policy, or the discussion board policy.

Incomplete grades. By University policy, for a student to get an Incomplete requires (i) that the student was performing passing-level work until the time that (ii) something happened that—through no fault of the student—prevented the student from completing the coursework. If you take the final, you completed the course, even if you took it while ill, exhausted, mourning, etc. The time to talk to me about incomplete grades is before you take the final, when the situation that prevents you from finishing presents itself.

Advice. Students who do poorly in this course generally have poor study habits. They are confused about the difference between memorization and learning. They don't read the book and the discussion board carefully. They don't watch the lectures. They focus on "what's the answer?" or "what do I do?" rather than "what's going on in this problem?" or "how do I think about this?" or "how are the math and the real-world scenario related?" They "try to find the right formula" and plug things into formulae that they don't understand and then wonder why their answers were wrong, instead of wondering what's going on the the problem in the first place or what the formulae mean or where the formulae come from and when they apply. Many seem allergic to thinking. They just want to calculate. They want "the answer" instead of knowledge and understanding.

On the other hand, students who do well in this course seem genuinely interested in understanding the material. They read the chapters before trying the homework. They watch the lectures. They work all the examples and exercises in the chapters, then reload the page to get more examples and exercises and work those, too. When they see something new, they try to relate it to things they have seen before. They try to imagine other situations in which it could be used. They think and grapple with the material before asking for help. They ask probing questions and keep at the homework until it makes sense to them—not just until they have memorized it or gotten the right answer. They go back over their homework after the due date to understand why they missed what they missed. They care more about learning than about their grades.

From experience, I think the difference between doing well and doing poorly is much more about having fire in the belly—wanting to understand things"than about native intelligence or mathematical aptitude or anything like that. You have to want to get to the bottom of things. If you don't, you'll never really understand the material: You cannot master it by mimicking what's done in examples. You have to care about why that's what was done in the examples.

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.

Course Manager. The course manager is Tracie Littlejohn, tlittlejohn [at] unex [dot] berkeley [dot] edu 727-424-9256. She is your primary contact to ensure that you have the technology needed to access course material. She also deals with arrangements for proctored off-campus exams for those students who cannot be on campus for the final.

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs).

Name Email
Josh Abramson josh [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu
Luis Campos luis [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu
Xiyan (Joyce) Chen xinyanchen [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Arturo Cortez cortez [dot] arturo [at] gmail [dot] com
Mike Higgins mikehiggins83 [at] gmail [dot] com
Micklos Pacz racz [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu
Vincent Yates vincent [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu

GSIs will hold office hours online and in person at the Student Learning Center.

Office hours. You can attend up to 5 hours per week of online office hours. You can join an online office hour session only during the first 10 minutes of the session. You may not ask questions about material you have not read or exercises or problems you have not attempted at least once. You may not ask questions about problem sets you have not submitted at least once. GSIs will not tell you the answer to a question on a problem set before that problem set is due. Don't ask. There is a limit of 15 students at a time per online office hour "room." Attendance is first-come, first-served. These rules were developed over four years to make office hours manageable, effective, and efficient. If you break these rules, points might be deducted from your course grade.

To make staffing office hours less burdensome to GSIs, they are not required to monitor the office hour if no students show up. If a student shows up for office hours, the GSI will be sent a text message. The GSI should be in the office hour within a few minutes of getting the text message. Please be patient. Moreover, if the office is idle for 15 minutes—if no student asks a question or interacts with the GSI—the GSI may end the office hour early.

Office hours. Online office hours are in the course portal. In-person office hours are at the Student Learning Center.
Online Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday In person Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
6 am Vince Vince Josh/Vince Vince Vince Vince 6 am
7 am Vince Vince Josh/Vince Vince Vince Vince 7 am
8 am Vince Miki/Vince Josh/Vince Vince Luis/Arturo Vince Vince 8 am
9 am Miki/Vince Miki/Vince Vince/Arturo Miki/Vince Luis/Arturo Vince Vince 9 am
10 am Miki/Vince Vince Vince/Arturo Miki/Vince Luis/Arturo Vince Vince 10 am Joyce
11 am Josh Josh/Luis Luis Mike Mike Josh 11 am Joyce
12 pm Josh Josh/Luis Luis Mike Mike Josh 12 pm Joyce
1 pm Josh Josh/Luis Luis Mike Mike Josh 1 pm
2 pm Josh/Arturo Josh Joyce/Arturo Mike/Arturo Josh 2 pm Joyce
3 pm Arturo Arturo Joyce/Arturo Mike/Arturo 3 pm Miki Joyce
4 pm Arturo Arturo Joyce/Arturo Mike/Arturo Mike 4 pm Miki Miki
5 pm Arturo Arturo Arturo Mike/Arturo Mike 5 pm Miki Miki
6 pm Arturo Joyce/Arturo Arturo Joyce/Arturo Mike 6 pm
7 pm Arturo Joyce/Luis Arturo/Luis Joyce/Arturo Mike 7 pm
8 pm Arturo Joyce/Luis Arturo/Luis Joyce/Arturo Mike 8 pm
9 pm Luis Luis/Miki Joyce Miki 9 pm
10 pm Miki Miki 10 pm
11 pm 11 pm

Online Study Hall. There are an online study hall and an online chatroom in the course portal to collaborate with other students.

Discussion Board (forum) 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. 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. 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.

You must read the discussion board or you will miss crucial information. You are responsible for reading the discussion board. Never post your SID to the discussion board, to online office hours, to chat, or anywhere else that somebody other than the instructor, the course manager, or a GSI might see it. Do not post specific questions about homework problems to the discussion board before that homework is due. Do not post your solutions to homework problems before the homework is due. If you break any of these rules, you might be banned from posting to the discussion board and points might be deducted from your course grade.

Please post questions about the material or the administration of the course to the discussion board—but before posting a question, read the discussion board (and the syllabus and other course materials) 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 a GSI, not to me. If the GSI cannot help you, he or she will forward the question to me.

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 July 2011.

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 or the discussion board, 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 at times to be announced.

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.