Course Home Page
Data are critically important to all sorts of scientific and engineering investigations.
In this course we will learn some of the most important elementary methods for obtaining
information from data. In this course students will
- Randall Pruim
office: North Hall 284
phone: (616) 526-7113
- Time & Location
|Sections A and B
||Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30-11:20 and 11:30-12:20 in North Hall 276
- Office Hours
TBA or by appointment. Generally, it is easiest to drop me an email and
see what times work for both of us -- or just swing by my office and see if I
- develop statistical skills, including the ability to
- reason and communicate about and with data
- use data to estimate unknown quantities
- use data to test hypotheses and make decisions
- collect and organize data in ways that make it possible to draw broader inferences
- develop mathematical skills, including the ability to
- use random events and random variables to model a variety of phenomena
- use mathematical notation and language related to probability and statistics
precisely, clearly, and correctly
- develop computational skills, including the ability to
- use a statistical programming language (R) to explore and
summarize data and perform computations
- use simulations to explore distributions and their properties
- use and write functions to automate repeated tasks
- develop additional skills, including the ability to
- use techniques of reproducible research to present results
- I will maintain an email list of all students registered in this class
and will occasionally use it to distribute information and reminders of
various things pertaining to this course.
If you prefer to read your email from an account other than your calvin
student account and do not have it set up to forward automatically,
send me email with the email address you prefer.
Please check your email daily.
You are responsible for any information communicated via email.
- Web Pages
In addition to this home page,
I will also maintain a list of web resources pertaining to this course.
You are responsible for any information appearing on the course
Items I have prepared and maintain online include
- a customizable calendar
of daily readings, lecture topics, exams, homework etc.
Tuesday, 22-Apr-2014 09:43:43 EDT.)
- a list of homework assignments and due dates.
- information about tests and exams
(appearing shortly before each test date).
For quick access to these and other resources, see the navigation
bar at the top of this page.
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.
There is no required textbook for this course.
We will make use of course notes and various online resources.
This makes it even more important that you faithfully attend class
and check email and the course web page frequently.
- When we need a statistics package in this course
to ease our calculations or visualizations, we will
use a program called
R is a very powerful statistical tool and programming language and is
being actively developed by statisticians from all over the world who
contribute to the main program, its interface, or the many add-on modules
(called packages) that are available to handle specialized tasks.
R is free and available for Mac, PC, or Linux.
It has also been installed on the computers in the
Mathematics and Statistics Computer Lab (basement of North Hall) and on
some other machines around campus (CS lab and Engineering lab, I think).
Recently, the RStudio company has provided an excellent integrated development
environment for R. This is the current best and easiest way to use R. Furthermore,
we have set up an RStudio server on campus that allows you to run R in a web browser
without any need to install the software yourself. Your session is restored each
time you return, and you can work on multiple computers without losing your work
when you move from one to another.
If you prefer to install R and RStudio on your own machine, the software is free
and easy to install on Macs, PCs, and linux boxes. You can get R at
http://cran.r-project.org and RStudio at
Occasionally 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:
Wednesday, 05-Feb-2014 23:28:36 EST
Department of Mathematics and Statistics