# Math 158   Introduction to Statistics A

Section 800 MWF 12:40 pm Snygg 101                   Section 810 MWF 11:30 pm Snygg 125

Scott Preston, 308 Snygg, 312-2756.

#### Office Hours

Wednesday 3:00 – 4:00, Thursday 12:00 – 2:00, and by appointment. I'm generally around in the late afternoon.

#### Online

Course information (syllabus, calendar, and other materials) are posted on the internet:

http://www.oswego.edu/~srp/stats

#### Text

Introductory Statistics, 6th ed., Neil A. Weiss, Addison-Wesley.

#### Coverage

Chapters 1-9, chapters 11, 12 and 14, and other topics as determined by the instructor.

#### Capstone Topic

Public opinion polling (particularly as it relates to pre-election polls). This topic will be covered and tested thoroughly. Issues related to this topic are covered in Sections 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 5.3, 6.5, and 12.1-3. Additional materials will be discussed and distributed in class. Complete mastery of this topic will serve you well.

Three mid-term exams, a comprehensive final exam, quizzes and assigned work contribute to your final grade. Exam dates are given below.

The three midterm exams account for 50% of your final grade. The best of these accounts for 25% of your final grade, the worst for 8.33%; your “middle” exam then accounts for 16.67%.

Course averages are converted to course grades as follows:

 92%-100% 90%-91.99% 88%-89.99% A A- B+ 82%-87.99% 80%-81.99% 78%-79.99% B B- C+ 72%-77.99% 70%-71.99% 68%-69.99% C C- D+ 62%-67.99% 60%-61.99% 0%-59.99% D D- E

#### Attendance

You are responsible for all announcements made in class. Daily coverage and assignments will be posted on the internet. You are expected to document personal and/or family emergencies that cause you to fail to meet a class obligation.

#### Homework

Many exercises will be assigned as regular homework – for your practice. It is your responsibility to complete these exercises. A smaller collection of exercises will be graded; exercises to be graded will be designated in class.

#### Computing

Different tools suit different jobs. A decent handheld calculator (one with basic statistical capabilities) will be useful. We will also make use of Minitab and Excel. Appropriate orientations will be provided.

#### Important Dates

 Sep 21: Last day to drop the course Oct 1: Midterm 1 Oct 29: Midterm 2 and the final day of the course withdrawal (WP/WF/WN) period Nov 22: Midterm 3 Dec 15, 10:30 am, Snygg 125 Final Exam Section 810 Dec 17, 10:30 am, Snygg 101 Final Exam Section 800

Violation of college rules regarding academic dishonesty will be penalized with a course grade of E or with charges brought before the appropriate judicial committee(s).

Statistics is a challenge for many students. It is difficult to quantify common sense, and that is largely the purpose of stats. The “math” is generally quite basic. A number of statistical procedures involve combining a sequence of simpler computations. To get the “correct number” often requires thinking through a sequence of steps. Almost every problem is a word problem or implies a word problem. The questions and answers come in the context of an issue arising from somewhere other than mathematics. Getting the right numbers alone is not “good enough” – you must understand how questions from applications translate into statistical questions, and you will be required provide proper interpretations of results.

Advice: Diligently and tenaciously practice solving problems and get help when your practice is ineffective. Your goal is to be confident that you can successfully solve the next problem.

## Frequently (and Infrequently) Asked Questions

The instructor’s quick responses to the questions below, and others, are at