Math 13 is a course designed primarily as a basic introductory course for statistical thinking. It is not very mathematical. Neither linear algebra nor calculus is required, although some concepts seem more natural if you understand integration and differentiation. You do need to be comfortable with math at the level of high-school algebra (e.g., the equation of a straight line, plotting points, taking powers and roots, percentages).
The middle of the course involves a fair amount of combinatorics—counting. The emphasis of the course is critical thinking about quantitative evidence. Topics include reasoning and fallacies, descriptive statistics, association, correlation, regression, elements of probability, set theory, chance variability, random variables, expectation, standard error, sampling, hypothesis tests, confidence intervals, experiments and observational studies, as well as common techniques of presenting data in misleading ways.
- Weekly homework assignments are due as posted online.
- Assignments must be turned in during lecture.
- Don’t wait until the last hour to do an assignment. Plan ahead and pace yourself.
- After the due date of each assignment, you will have access to the correct answers.
- You get credit for a homework assignment only if you complete all the questions.
- No late assignments will be accepted, for any reason, including, but not limited to, theft, extraordinary circumnstances, and your pet’s dietary idiosyncrasies.
- Instead of late HW, I will drop two HW assignments at the end of the semester.
- You’ll get extra credit if you turn in ALL assignments
Your course grade is based on homework, in-class participation, midterm exams, and a final exam. The percentage breakdown for each component is as follows:
- 5% attendance
- 15% homework
- 60% midterms
- 20% final
The final letter-grade scale is:
- A: 90%-100%
- B: 80%-89%
- C: 70%-79%
- D: 60%-69%
- F: below 60%
- Midterm exams will include material and examples presented in lecture, examples from the textbook, and the exercises you are assigned in homework and for practice.
- Midterm exams are worth 60% of your course grade.
- The Final Exam will be a comprehensive exam, covering all topics presented in the course. It is worth 20% of your course grade. The Final Exam will take place on the Monday of Final Exam week during class time.
- Absolutely no make-up exams will be given.
- You are allowed to use a non-graphing scientific calculator during each exam. Other electronic devices such as smart phones, mobile devices, laptops, and tablets are NOT permitted during exams.
- Please keep all of your exams. This work is the only evidence outside of attending class of your efforts to succeed in the course.
- Your attendance is an important part of your success in this course. Students who regularly miss class may therefore lose participation percentage points.
- You are entitled to 2 non-consecutive absences without downgrading your participation.
- If you never miss lecture, you’ll get extra-credit.
- You may be dropped if you are absent for more than one consecutive week of class without contacting me to explain your absences.
- If you are not present when I call roll, you will get an absence.
- While attending class, please help to maintain a decent learning environment.
- No laptops, tablets, cell phones, or other similar electronic devices are allowed during lecture.
- Please be considerate of others; turn off your cell phones and put them away.
- Sit close to the door if you must leave early. If you are late, please try to find a seat as quickly and quietly as possible.
- You should only use email as a tool to set up a one-on-one meeting with me if Office hours conflict with your schedule.
- Use the subject line Meeting Request.
- Your message should include at least two times when you would like to meet and a brief (one-two sentence) description of the reason for the meeting.
- I am not constantly checking my email: I may not reply on time.
- If you have an emergency, talk to me later during class or office hours.
- I strongly encourage you to ask questions about the syllabus, covered material, and assignments during class time or lab discussions.
- Our conversations should take place in person rather than via email, thus allowing us to get to know each other better and fostering a more collegial learning atmosphere.
Do your own work. Collaborating on homework is fine—but copying is not, nor is having somebody else submit assignments for you. Cheating will not be tolerated. Anyone found cheating will receive an F and will be reported to the Chair of the Department and the Dean.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, students will:
- Find and evaluate statistical information in discussions and presentations
- Use statistical procedures and standard techniques in data gathering, summary, and presentations.
- Interpret data sampling and inferential statistics (hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.)
- Describe the rules of probability and the role of probability distributions such as the Binomial, Normal, and various other models.
Justification for the Course
Satisfies the General Education and Analytical Thinking requirement for Associate Degrees. Provides foundation for more advanced study in mathematics and related fields. Satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning component required for transfer to UC, CSUC, and some independent four-year institutions. Acceptable for credit: CSU, UC. AA/AS area 4b, CSU area B4, IGETC area 2A.