COURSE HOME PAGE
Other Internet Resources
This course is a general introduction to the field of statistics.
Much of what we will do can be placed in one of the following
- Producing Good Data
- Goal: To understand the basic methodologies of observational studies
and randomized experiments.
- Describing and Analyzing Data
- Goal: To understand several basic statistical summaries
(numerical and graphical) and their use to summarize data sets.
- Drawing Trustworthy Conclusions from Data
- Goal: To understand the basic principles that allow us to
draw conclusions about a large population from information
collected from a smaller sample.
- Goal: To understand in detail the mathematics involved in
inference for proportions (the mathematics used to gain information
from public opion polls as well as in many other situations).
- Considering Issues Concerning the Use/Misuse/Abuse of Data in
- Goal: To become an educated consumer of statistics as reported in
the mass media and in technical reports.
- Randall Pruim
office: North Hall 284
phone: (616) 957-7113
- Time & Location
Monday - Friday, 2:00 - 5:00 pm, in North Hall 295
- Problem Sessions
Monday - Friday, 11:00 - 11:50 pm, in North Hall 294 (except first 3 days)
Each day, from 11:00 - 11:50 I will be available for
help with homework problems and other questions. The first three days will
meet in the Mathematics Reading Room (NH282). After that we will use
These sessions are optional, but I encourage you to make use of them.
I recommmend doing the reading and as much of your homework as you can
before that time, jotting down any questions you have and recording which
items give you difficulty as you go along. Then you will know what to ask
when you arrive.
You can use the time from 11:30 until 2:00 to go back and finish any
homework that you are better able to do after the problem session.
If no one arrives by 11:05, then the session will be canceled, so please come
on time if you want some help with homework or with understanding topics from
- Office hours
In addition to the problem sessions, individualized office hours can
be scheduled by appointment if needed.
I should usually be available immediately after class for a short time.
We can set up a time for the next day if that would work better.
Also feel free to contact me via email or to stop by my office if you have
questions or want to set up an appointment.
- I will maintain an email list of all students registered in this class
and will occassionally use it to distribute information and reminders of
various things pertaining to this course. If you do not know how to access
your email, please talk to someone at the IT helpdesk. If you prefer to
read your email from an account other than your calvin student account,
send me email with the email address you prefer.
Since things move quickly in an interim setting, please check your
email at least once each morning. That way, if I forget to tell
you something in class, or a question comes up regarding an assignment, etc,
you can get the information before class begins in the afternoon.
You can also send email to the class list or particular students
in the class via BlackBoard.
- Web Pages
In addition to this home page,
I will also maintain a list of web resources pertaining to this course.
Items I have prepared and maintain online include
- a customizable calendar
of daily readings, lecture topics, exams, homework etc.
You are responsible for any information appearing
on the course calendar. (Last modification:
Thursday, 11-Jan-2001 16:02:15 EST.)
- a list of homework
assignments. Due dates will be maintained on the calendar above.
(I may also distribute these via email.)
- information about tests and exams.
- web overheads used in class.
- links to other sites with
interesting information for this course.
- BlackBoard CourseInfo
I am also making partial use of Calvin's
BlackBoard CourseInfo intructional resources.
You can go to BlackBoard to check your grades, send email to individuals
or groups in the class, and to read all the other information (like this page)
that I have on line. For more information on how to use CourseInfo,
see the online tutorial.
If you are having difficulty with any portion of the course, do not
hesitate to see me.
Do this as soon as possible, certainly well in advance of any
deadlines (like tests) so that we can work to fix the problem.
Seeing Through Statistics,Second Edition
by Jessica Utts.
Additional readings may also be assigned.
Because this course counts for core credit in Mathematics, you will receive
a regular letter grade for this course.
Grading will be based on the following approximate weighting:
10% Attendence & Participation
20% Quizzes (daily)
25% Test 1
25% Test 2
Tests are scheduled for the following dates:
Thursday, January 20;
Wednesday, January 26;
will be given daily and may cover any of the recent readings, videos,
exercises or class activities.
You will not be able to master the material in this course without
practice. I will make assignments every day. Some portions of
these assignments will be collected and others will not.
Please follow the guidelines below:
Problems to be handed in should be worked neatly,
showing all of your work (when appropriate) and explaining your
The work should be organized in paragraph manner
(work left to right and top to bottom; use English sentences to
explain what you are doing, etc.).
Any work that is illegible or disorganized will not be graded.
Label each page with your name and the assignement.
Each problem should be clearly labeled as well.
Leave a little space between problems.
Each problem set should be on a separate sheet of paper.
If you use more than one sheet of paper,
these sheets must be stapled in the upper left
corner. If you use spiral bound paper, please remove the fringe along
the edge of the paper.
You may find it pleasant and useful to work together on many portions
of this course. I encourage you to do so. BUT you must abide by the
Attendence is required.
If you miss class, you are missing an important part of this course.
In class we will be doing activities that reinforce the statistical
ideas covered in the textbook, viewing videos, discussing readings,
answering questions. These are difficult things to replace in any
We will have a quiz each day that will also serve as an attendence check.
Quizzes cannot normally be made up for students who miss class.
Preparing for class
You should bring with you each day:
Of course, you should have read (and thought about) any assigned readings
prior to coming to class. You may want to have your notes handy, especially
if you have questions regarding the readings or homework.
- any homework due that day,
- your textbook,
- a calculator,
- any additional readings that have been handed out (put them in a folder
so that you can locate them easily),
- and any other materials I announce ahead of time.
Occassionally there are special circumstances that require that the rules
and guidelines above be adjusted for a particular student.
In such cases, it is the responsibility of the student to inform me
of the situation as soon as possible, so that the appropriate
arrangements can be made. This includes, but is not limited to,
students with documented disabilities.
This page maintained by:
Thursday, 11-Jan-2001 16:02:15 EST
Department of Mathematics and Statistics