Math 121: Statistics

Class Meetings:

Bagby 106, MWF 8:30 - 9:20, and T 12:30 - 1:20

Office Hours:

Bagby 125 MWF 1:30 - 4:00, T 2:30 - 4:00, others by appointment

Link To LaunchPad

  • Haven't signed up for LaunchPad yet?  Sign-up instructions are here.

Course Description

Statistics is the science of data:  how valid data is produced, how to explore data to find trends, how to describe data quantitatively, and how to draw valid conclusions from data.  All these topics will be introduced in this course.  Probability theory provides important tools and concepts to statistics, and so we will also introduce some basic concepts from this area.  The course will emphasize hands-on experience with data, and the real-life applications of statistical thinking.  
The specific learning objectives of this course are to

  • present and interpret data graphically (using histograms, scatterplots, stemplots, and boxplots) including identifying outlier data,
  • compute and interpret measures of center, spread and correlation,
  • identify response and explanatory variables and find, use and interpret the least squares linear regression line of a response variable on an explanatory variable,
  • apply basic concepts of probability to find probabilities using the normal distribution
  • explain and use the Central Limit Theorem in relation to the sampling distribution of the sample mean,
  • use the basic tools of statistical inference including confidence intervals and tests of significance for population means (z and t procedures), population proportions, differences of means, and differences of proportions
  • gain a solid understanding of the concept of statistical significance.

Required LaunchPad

I will be running the course using a web-based system called LaunchPad.  You should have received an email from me about signing up for LaunchPad.  You are required to purchase LaunchPad .  Most of the homework for the class will be done through LaunchPad .  LaunchPad also contains an eBook (electronic version) of our textbook ("The Basic Practice Of Statistics", 7th edition, by David Moore).  In addition it contains many other helpful features, including as audio and video tutorials.  Because the text for the course is contained in eBook form on LaunchPad, I do not require that you have a hard-copy version of the textbook.

Required Statistical Calculator

A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Course Grade

  • 60% Three in-class tests
  • 15% Homework/Quiz
  • 30% Final Exam

Final Exam Date

Wednesday, December 14, 9 am - 12 noon.

In-Class Tests

Three in-class tests will be given.  Tentative dates for these are

  • Test 1 -- Tuesday, September 20
  • Test 2 -- Tuesday, October 25
  • Test 3 -- Tuesday, November 29

Homework/Quizzes

I will assign homework problems on LaunchPad after each class.  Usually you will have two days in which to complete each assignment.  The first ten minutes of each class meeting is open to discussion of the homework problems.  Periodically we will have a short in-class quiz.  Topics for the quiz will always be announced at least one class meeting in advance.  The quizzes will be based on the assigned homework.

Comprehensive Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam will be given on Wednesday, December 14, from 9 am until 12 noon.

Attendance and Excused Absences

You are expected to attend every class. See the Hampden-Sydney College Catalog for the College's policies on class attendance. You assume full responsibility for all material covered during any absence. A grade of "0" will be assigned for all work missed due to unexcused absences.

Make-Up Policy

  • You will have ample time to complete any online homework assignments, so I will not accept any late submissions for these.
  • If you are sick on the day of a test or in-class quiz, then you must get in contact with me before the test or quiz is given to arrange a make-up.
  • If you have a legitimate College-sponsored event in which you must participate (such as a sporting event) scheduled on the same day as a test or in-class quiz, then you must get in contact with me before the test or quiz is given to arrange a make-up .

iPads, Cell Phones, Texting, etc.

  • No laptops or iPads in class, please.  You will not need them during class meetings.
  • All phones should be turned off during class, or be put in silent mode.
  • No texting or other use of the internet during class please.
  • No eating during class, please.
  • No smokeless tobacco.

Course Topics

  • Distributions and their graphs
  • Numerical summaries of distributions
  • The normal distributions
  • Scatterplots and correlations for two variables
  • Linear regression
  • Two-way tables
  • Producing data: sampling
  • Producing data: experiments
  • Introducing probability
  • Sampling distributions
  • Binomial distributions
  • Introduction to inference
  • Thinking about inference
  • Inference about a population mean
  • Two-sample problems
  • Inference about a population proportion
  • Comparing two proportions
  • Others as time permits