STAT 100b: Introductory Statistics

Every day we are inundated with data.  How do we recognize dishonest or even unintentionally distorted representations of quantitative information? How can we reconcile two medical studies with seemingly contradictory conclusions? How many observations do we need in order to make a sound decision?  This course introduces statistical reasoning, emphasizing how Statistics can help us understand the world. Topics include numerical and graphical summaries of data, data acquisition and experimental design, probability, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation and regression.  Students will learn to apply statistical concepts to data and reach conclusions about real-world problems.

Students interested in a course that covers similar material at a faster pace and then focuses on applications to a particular field of study (such as Biology or Political Science) should consider taking one of the Stat 101a-Stat 106a courses instead.  Students who already have been exposed to the course topics or who have extensive quantitative backgrounds should speak with the instructor about other course opportunities.  For example, students seeking a more mathematically rigorous or computationally intensive introduction to probability and statistics could consider taking Stat 238a.  Students with previous exposure to the concepts of statistics (for instance through AP Statistics) interested in focusing on the practice of data analysis should consider Stat 230b

Workload:   There will be weekly problem sets, two midterms, and a final exam. For more information, please visit Jay Emerson's web page.

Expected Quantitative Preparation:   Do you remember anything at all from your high school algebra?  If so, have no fear!  This course is intended to be accessible to all students having a basic knowledge of high school algebra. Students will be challenged by statistical reasoning, not by mathematical manipulations.  If you have any concerns about whether you are ready for this course, please contact the instructor.  

Examples of the most challenging math you will see in this course:

Solve the following equation for n :

sample problem

Plot and label the following points on graph paper:

Plot and label the following functions on graph paper: