Instructor: Stephen Lawrence Keeley
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumThis course is essentially AP Statistics with maybe a few more concepts thrown in. You’ll cover basic probability (set theory, PMFs, CDFs) in the first half and statistics (p-value, z score, t test, hypothesis testing, linear/logistic regression) in the second half. Be warned that the scope and quality of the course can vary widely by semester.
Learning From Classroom InstructionThere are two 80-minute lectures a week. In general, I found I didn’t need to do any outside reading as long as I attended lecture. Some people printed out the slides ahead of time or annotated them on iPads (I thought that was a neat technique). Exams have been open note in the past, so take thorough notes. One 50-minute precept a week was generally useful for applying concepts. Participation/attendance isn’t required, but I’d recommend it, especially if you are struggling.
Learning For and From AssignmentsThe homeworks are generally helpful for preparing for the tests (I actually found them a bit harder). Take R seriously. Although R will never be tested, it’s honestly the most useful skill I got out of this course. Use YouTube tutorials to learn it at first, and then try to teach yourself as much as you can. If you’re struggling with homeworks, find friends to work with, or visit office hours with a good preceptor. When I took the course, exams (midterm and final) and most homeworks were generally plug-and- chug. There were a couple proofs, which I stumbled on at times (beware, there are some real math whizzes who take this course!), but you’ll be fine. I thought that those who took this course concurrently with ORF309 had an upper leg, but I did not, and I was fine.
External ResourcesYouTube is great for learning R. The textbook is honestly not that great – the exams and homeworks weren’t at all similar to the textbook problems. Being thorough and putting time into the homeworks (doing as much as you can by yourself before getting help) is what will prep you for the exams.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionI would highly recommend taking MAT201 before taking this course. Double integrals come up, and you should know what those are (they came up on the midterm, and it was clear that some students weren’t comfortable with those!). MAT202 would also be helpful for more theory concepts toward end of course, but it’s certainly not required. And if you’ve taken AP Statistics before, you will be very well- prepared.
Fundamentals of Statistics