Introduction to Statistical Methods And Probabilistic Reasoning
Instructor: Phil Everson
Office: 24 Hillhouse Ave, Room 208
Office Hours: Thurs: 2:30-4:00 (or by appointment)
Lectures: Tues, Thurs, 1:00pm--2:15pm, WLH 208
StatLab hours: Monday 1:00-5:00
Objectives and Prerequisites
The objectives of this course are
Some familiarity with elementary algebraic notation at the high school
level is assumed.
Graduate students who wish to tailor the course to relate to their research
are also invited to discuss this with the instructor.
- to provide sufficient skills to enable students to apply simple
statistical techniques with the aid of a computer.
- to help students be informed and critical readers of quantitative
Outline of topics
The following is an outline of material covered in the course:
- Descriptive statistics and exploratory data analysis
- Fundamentals of Probability
- Random variables and probability distributions
- Producing data: Surveys, Experiments, Observational Studies
- Elements of statistical inference: estimation and hypothesis testing
- Statistical analysis with one sample
- Statistical analysis with two samples
D. Moore and G. McCabe. (2nd ed.) Introduction to the Practice of
D. Freedman, R. Pisani, and R. Purves Statistics
R. Johnson and G. Bhattacharyya Statistics: Principles and Methods
J. Devore and R. Peck Statistics: The Exploration and Analysis of
J. Tanur, et al Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown
Homework and other handouts will be distributed at lectures, or may be picked
up outside my office.
Homework assignments will be due each week.
The first assignment will be due September 19.
Homework is due by 3:00pm on the due date.
You may hand in your assignment to the course assistant before that time,
drop it off at the lecture, or leave it in the box outside my office.
You may discuss homework problems with other students, but you should write
up your solutions independently.
Always show how you obtained your answers.
The official course policy is that no late homework will be accepted.
In return for your timely submission of homework, we will make every
effort to return graded homework and examinations promptly.
This rapid feedback should help you be aware of any problems in your
own understanding of the material.
There will be two in-class hour exams during the semester, and a 2-hour
The dates for the exams are:
Exam 1: October 10
Exam 2: November 16
All exams will be open book (textbook and notes).
You may want to prepare a formula sheet for easy reference.
A hand calculator is necessary for all exams.
Some homeworks will include computer assignments to be done using a
statistics computing package. We have Monday afternoons reserved at the
statlab (140 Prospect St., room 101). The computer package Minitab is
available on the PC's there, and I will prepare detailed descriptions
for getting you started with this program. You may use any other
statistical package that is convenient, although we may not be able to
provide support for these. Do not hand in piles of computer paper with
your homework; cut out the relevant pieces and paste them in your
written assignments (or incorporate them using a word processor.
Grades will be based on:
Exam 1: 20%
Exam 2: 20%
Final Exam: 30%