# Syllabus for Statistics 185

Professor: Mark McClure

## Statistics vs data science

• Check out Wikipedia's article on Data Science. Quoting from that article, I guess that

Data science is "The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century"
Wikipedia

• Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that

Employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

### So... just what is this hot, new field?

• According to the same Wikipedia article, data science is

a concept to unify statistics, data analysis and their related methods.

• According to page 8 of our textbook,

Statistics is the study of how best to collect, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.

• More bluntly,

data science is a sexed-up term for statistics.
Nate Silver

### And why is it so hot?

Simply put, statistics helps us understand so many things, from the fun, through the important, to the urgent.

• Sports analytics
• Politics

And computer power makes it so easy to visualize and understand huge data sets today.

## Course purpose

Statistics (or Data Science, if you prefer) is an applied field with a wide range of practial applications that is of growing importance in today's data driven world. In this course, you will:

• Learn the qualitative language of data: What are the basic structures, variables, summaries, and charts that we use to describe and understand data? What data can we find and how do we collect more?
• Learn how to analyze data quantitatively: What specific distribution should we use to model a specific data set? What do quantitative measures associated with a distribution tell us about the data set?
• Learn how to make inferences from the data: What conclusions can we draw from a given data set or collection of observations? And how confident can we be in those conclusions?
• Deal with large, real world data in all it's messiness: This is meant to be a practical class where you can develop some skills that help throughout your college career and beyond. As such, we'll learn how to use the computer to work with actual data.

## Materials

• The Text: We will use the Open Intro statistics text. This is an open text made freely available through a Creative Commons license.
• You are not required to purchase a hardcopy of the text but, if you want one, you can find links to several versions at the Open Intro website. There are also links to other ancillaries, like video summaries, computer tutorials, and data.
• Technology: The number one thing you need for this class is a reasonably good computer and a reliable internet connection. Specifically, you'll need to access the following:
• Zoom The first week of class is already scheduled to be online. While I expect we will be back in person farily soon, we need to be prepared for the possibility of more Zoom.
• WebWork: We will have regular auto-graded homework using WebWork. You can login there, using the information described in class..
• Computational webpages: We'll have occassional, small computer labs set up within web pages. This will allow us to work with large, real world data sets.
• Discourse/span>: I've got an online forum called Discourse where we can discuss all aspects of statistics. Not only is this a great place ask HW questions but our computer labs will be turned in over the forum.

• Mid-term exams: There will be three exams during the term worth about 100 points apiece. Likely dates for the exams are:
• Wednesday, February 2
• Wednesday, March 2 and
• Wednesday, April 13.
• Final exam: There will be a comprehensive final exam on Friday, April 29 at 8:00 AM.
• Quizzes: There will be about five short quizzes on Fridays. Each quiz could be worth anywhere from 10 to 30 points.
• Homework: There will be several types of homework:
• WebWork, which is online and automatically graded.
• Textbook assignments, which will not be collected but offer important practice.
• Computer labs, which will be posted and worked out on the forum.
These homeworks will be posted as the term progresses.
• In class problems: We will frequently work problem sheets together in class. Quiz and exam problems will be closely related to these sheets. In addition, you will receive a 40 point class participation grade simply for participating regularly.
• Final grades: I will determine final grades using a scale not more stringent than the standard 90-80-70-60 scale. You will be apprised of your standing as the term progresses.
• Late work: In general, I don't accept late work.
• Cheating: I don't deal with cheating. If I suspect cheating strongly enough, I simply refer you to the provost and fail you for the class.