# Syllabus for Statistics 185

Professor: Mark McClure

## Course purpose

Statistics 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

## 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 may download our PDF for free.
- 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:
There are several technological tools that we'll use including:
- Anaconda: An open distribution of the Python language that includes packages for statistical computing and graphics. This is the tool that will allow us to work with large, real world data sets. We'll have several labs this term that will require the use of Anaconda. Typically, we'll work on those labs in class together so you can access it on the computers here or in the math lab.
- Edfinity: We will have regular auto-graded homework using Edfinity. You should receive an invitation by email to access Edfinity.
- Our StatTalk Forum: I've set up an online forum called StatTalk that you can use to ask questions of me and each other about statistics. Computer labs will typically be set up via StatTalk.

Note that we will only use simple calculators on quzzes and exams.

## Grades

- Exams: There will be two exams during
the term. Likely dates for the exams are:
- Tuesday, July 3
- Friday, July 16

- Quizzes: There will be five quizzes during
the term. Likely dates for those quizzes are:
- Friday, June 7
- Friday, June 17
- Friday, June 21
- Friday, June 28
- Friday, July 12

- Homework: There will be three
types of homework:
- Textbook, which will not be collected but offer important practice.
- Edfinity, which is online and automatically graded.
- Computer problems, which will typically be turned in and assessed via our StatTalk Forum.

- In class problems: We will work problem sheets together most days. 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.

## Advice

- Summertime statistics: You don't have to be a mathematical genius to absorbs the fundamentals of statistics and learn how to apply statistics to real world problems. You do need to work fairly hard and consistently, however. This is particuarly true in a condensed Summer class.
- The typical day: Class is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and will usually be divided between lecture and problem sessions. On Fridays, we will typically have an assessment, either a quiz or an exam.
- Help:
You are not undertaking this challenging task alone.
Here are a few sources of assistance:
- Me: I like to talk to people about math and stat! That's why I chose this profession. I will typically stick around in my office after class for about an hour. Please feel free to approach me any time you have questions.
- Your classmates: Most people learn best by talking things through with others. You will find that you can both learn from and help your fellow classmates. In particular, if your classmate is explaining a fine point to you, then you are helping them!
- Our StatTalk forum: I set this forum specifically for us to talk about statistics. You can post questions there and, hopefully, one of your classmates will answer. If not, I'll probably chime in at some point.
- The Math Lab: We all know the Math Lab rocks! It's open long hours and is located right across the hall from my office. You will be welcome there and will definitely find people to talk to about statistics, as well as mathematics.

## Your rights and responsibilities

It's worth understanding your rights and responsibilities as a student at UNCA. One of my responsibilities is to make sure you have the information that you need to do that. Since this is common to all classes, I've got that information on this legalese document.