Lecture 01 - 1 1.1 1.1.1 Introduction Syllabus Level of the...

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1 Introduction 1.1 Syllabus 1.1.1 Level of the course: The course is given at an intermediate level. The course requires one year of calculus and a certain degree of mathematical maturity. This is an ambitious course in that we cover both probability and statistics in one semester. Because so much material is covered, it is impossible to go over a large enough number of examples that illustrate the subject as it is being developed. Therefore, students should expect to spend at least five hours a week reading the book, reading the references, and going over the book examples, the recommended problems, and the assigned problems. It is very important not to fall behind because the material builds up very quickly. On the positive side, the reward is that after one semester you will have a working knowledge of probability and statistics. The course requires students to use the textbook for examples and details which can’t be covered in class because of time limitations and coverage requirements. To alleviate this problem I will be holding voluntary attendance recitation sessions where the TA will go over questions and exercises. 1.1.2 Encourage students to ask questions 1.1.3 Use of statistical computer packages Throughout the course, students will need to crunch data. Students can use the statistical package of their choice, e.g. Minitab, SPSS, S, etc. . The statistical modules embedded in Excel for Windows is powerful enough to work most of the problems in the textbook. 1.1.4 Motivation Why study probability and statistics? One answer, of course, for many of you is that this is a required course. But why? The reason is that we live in a world where uncertainty is everywhere. Will it rain tomorrow? Which candidate will win the elections? Is treatment A better than treatment B? Is production out of control? Should we target generation Y instead of generation X? While we cannot give a definitive answer to most of these questions, we can observe the underlying process, collect data and give an answer couched in probabilistic terms. Thus, we may say that there is an eighty percent chance that it will rain tomorrow, and we may reject the claim that treatment A is better than treatment B and at the same time announce the probability that we are wrong. In general, in statistical inferences we collect data and want to make intelligent and rigorous statements about a population from 1
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which the data comes from. Examples include polling, quality control, medical treatments,
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Lecture 01 - 1 1.1 1.1.1 Introduction Syllabus Level of the...

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