MATH 121 SPRING 2012

Instructor:  Dr. R. P. Webber

Office and hoursBagby 116; 10 - 10:30 TR and by appointment.  At Longwood, East Ruffner 332; MTF 2 – 3:30 and by appointment or coincidence

Telephone:  223-6212 (Hampden-Sydney), 395-2192 (Longwood)  Please do not use my Hampden Sydney email address, for I never check it.

Course description:  Introduction to probability and statistics.  Data analysis.  Discrete and continuous random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing.  Prerequisite:  None.  4 hours.

Course objectives:  The student will be able to calculate and interpret various kinds of averages.  The student will be able to calculate discrete and continuous probabilities.  The student will be able to calculate confidence intervals and observed significance levels, and he will be able to test hypotheses.  The student will be able to apply and interpret linear regression.  

TextMcClave and Sincich, A First Course in Statistics, 10th edition.  Prentice Hall, 2009. 

Calculator:  You will need to use a calculator in this course.  I strongly recommend a TI83or TI84, because the text contains instructions on how to use its statistical capabilities.  Your calculator must be able to do the following things.  (The TI83/84 can do all these and more).

·         Find mean and median

·         Find binomial and normal probabilities

·         Find  confidence intervals for, and test hypotheses about, population means and proportions

·         Calculate observed significance levels

·         Find a linear regression line and a correlation coefficient

Learn how to use your calculator, and bring it with you to class.  I will assume you have it for group work, quizzes, and tests.

Computer:  You may be expected to use the Excel spreadsheet occasionally in this course.  You probably already have it on your computer; if not, it is available in the College’s computer labs.

Course requirements and grading:  There will be three tests and one composite quiz grade, of which you may drop one.  The resulting three marks, counted equally, will comprise 48% of your course grade.  Your composite class participation grade will count 15%, your project will count 15%, and the final exam will count the remaining 22%.  The grading scale goes by tens:  90 - 100, A; 80 - 90, B; 70 - 80, C; 60 - 70, D; below 60, F.

Homework:  Problems will be assigned regularly, and everyone is expected to do them.  They will not be collected without warning, and it is your responsibility to do all of the assigned problems.  Feel free to work with others on the homework problems, and ask me about problems that you cannot solve.

Quizzes:  There will be frequent daily quizzes.  Quizzes are always at the beginning of the period, take about ten minutes, and are open book and notes.  Often they consist of a homework problem or two.  No excuses will be accepted for missing quizzes, and there will be no makeups.  You will receive a grade of 0 for missed quizzes, regardless of the reason for absence.  However, you may drop one quiz grade.  The remaining quiz grades will be counted equally to compute your composite quiz grade.

Class participation:  Often you will be asked to work in groups in class.  Working in small groups of three or four, you will be asked to solve a problem and present your results to the class.  Each group will receive a grade on that day's work.  Each member of the group will receive the same grade, except a member who is absent, who will receive a grade of 0.  Missed class participation sessions cannot be made up, but you will be allowed one absence from a class participation session without penalty.  All remaining group grades will be counted equally to determine your composite group grade.

Attendance:  Your attendance is expected at all classes.  Makeup tests will be given reluctantly, and then only upon presentation of a doctor's excuse.  Makeup tests are always more difficult than regular tests, regardless of the reason for absence.  You may not make up missed class participation sessions or quizzes.

You need to be on time for each class.  Coming into class late is disruptive to other students and to the teacher.  In addition, quizzes are given at the start of the period, and no extension is given for tardiness.  Similarly, you should not leave during class, even temporarily.  Get your drink of water before class starts.  Leaving briefly and then returning is rude and disconcerting to others in the class and to the teacher.

Honor code:  I subscribe to the Hampden-Sydney honor system, which, among other things, assumes you do not cheat and that you take responsibility to see that others do not.  Infractions will be dealt with harshly.  A student who is convicted of an Honor Code offense involving this class will receive a course grade of F, in addition to any penalties imposed by the Honor Board.

Course schedule:

Week 1  Jan 18 - 19

1.1 – 2.3:  Introduction; graphical representations; different kinds of averages

Week 2  Jan 24 – 26

2.4 – 2.7:  Averages; standard deviation

Week 3  Jan 31 –  Feb 2

3.1 – 3.6:  Introduction to discrete probability

Week 4  Feb 7 – 9

Notes:  Counting principles; review

Week 5  Feb 14 – 16

TEST; 4.1 – 4.2:  Probability distributions

Week 6  Feb 21 – 23

4.3 – 4.5:  Binomial distribution; continuous distributions

Week 7  Feb 28 – Mar 1

4.5:  Normal distributions

Week 8  Mar 6 – 8

4.8 – 4.9:  Sampling distributions; Central Limit Theorem

Spring Break


Week 9  Mar 20 – 22

Catch up, review, TEST

Week 10  Mar 27 – 29

5.1 – 5.4:  Confidence intervals    

Week 11  Apr 3 – 5

5.5 – 6.2:  Error term; hypothesis testing    

Week 12  Apr 10 – 12

6.3 – 6.5, Notes:  Observed significance level, more hypothesis testing; how to do your project

Week 13  Apr 17 – 19

8.3 – 8.4:  Chi-square; review

Week 14  Apr 23 – 26

TEST; 9.2, 9.5:  Linear regression, correlation 

Week 15  May 1

Review; projects due