|Office Address||Watson 218|
|Office Hours||M 11-12, 4-5; W 4-5; F 11-12 & by appt.|
and David Bock
3rd Edition, Pearson, 2009.
We will be using the statistical package MINITAB in this course. MINITAB is available on all of the Windows computers in College labs. We may also use the statistical package Data Desk. A (student) copy of Data Desk is included on the CD that comes with our text -- you can copy this to your computer.
Whenever possible we will tie the ideas in the course to studies reported in the news or to claims made by people who want to sell us things or convince us of something.Our goal is to learn to create and critique arguments which are based on data.
- Create and critique arguments which are based on data.
- Discuss and apply ideas important in the collection of data--as in designing experiments and sampling.
- Apply the techniques of data analysis--summarizing and interpreting batches of data, with the aid of models.
- Discuss and apply the ideas and techniques of statistical inference--drawing conclusions from a set of data about the world it came from.
- Demonstrate the ability to use technology effectively for statistical analysis.
One of the objectives of this course is to introduce you to statistical computer software. As I mentioned above, we will work with MINITAB (and possibly DataDesk). You can get help from me or from each other on using the software, but you are responsible for learning how to use it -- our final exam will include questions to be solved using the computer.
While we're on the subject of computers, I'd like to be able to reach all of you by email. I will respond to your email from any account, but I expect you to check the "official" college account so I can send messages through ANGEL. I also think it would be a good idea for you to take some time to reflect on the course and tell me how you think things are going. I suggest you write a weekly email journal entry for me. i.e. sometime after our class time on Friday and before Sunday evening send me an email message about the course.
I may use our ANGEL page to give a series of short graded exercises -- these will typically involve writing about data rather than calculating numerical answers. I'll send an email to let you know when a question will be posted. (Of course, these will be "open-book" exercises but you'll be expected to do your own work for these.)
We will also have quite a few 15-minute quizzes. These will be announced and very similar to homework exercises from the texts.
I may ask you to turn in some homework exercises. I will also ask you to complete more open-ended activities. These labs may be individual activities and/or cooperative group activities. Some of these may involve a brief oral presentation to the class.
I will ask you to work with small groups of students ( ≤ 3) on two small and one longer-term project each of which involves gathering and analyzing data. We’ll talk more about this, but you should begin thinking about a project today -- the first step is to find a question that you think would be interesting to study.
There will be two exams and a comprehensive final exam.
In order to minimize the amount of memorization required in this course, I will allow you to prepare a one page "crib sheet" for each exam. Exams may include activities using the computer. ( For the final exam you will use MINITAB to carry out all relevant computations.)
I expect you to use a pocket calculator for all exams and quizzes. If you're buying a new calculator for this course then you should look for "two-variable statistics" in the description of it's features. If you already have a calculator that calculates averages and standard deviations (aka "one-variable statistics") you should be able to manage with that.
Computation of grade:
All grades will be recorded in ANGEL. You should check it regularly and let me know about any mistakes you find. I don't have enough control to have ANGEL do the right thing in terms of calculating your overall average but it should tell you where each of the following categories stand so you can calculate your own weighted average.
Homework, labs, and ANGEL exercises
Final (Comprehensive & MINITAB dependent) April 14 11-1 & 1-3
I will be flexible about accepting excuses for missing a class but these should be rare. Of course an unexcused absence on the day of a quiz or exam will result in my recording a zero for that quiz or exam. (I often offer students the option of redoing a quiz but in these cases I record the average of the two grades.)
An additional incentive for good attendence (The bonus scale):
I will take attendence for each class
when we don't have a quiz or an exam. We have 36 classes. Two of
these will be used for exams and six more will have scheduled quizzes
-- that leaves 28 other classes. I will calculate your "bonus scale"
by dividing the number of these classes you attend by 25. I will then
multiply your score on the final exam by this number. (A student with
perfect attendence who gets an 80 on the final would then be scaled up
to a 90. A student who had missed only one class would have an 80
scaled up to an 86...)
I will not use the "bonus scale" to lower grades on the final for students with more than three unexcused absences but I really don't think there should be any students in this situation. Indeed, I will enforce the following:
excessive absence policy.