I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus


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.

Homework Assignments

Grading Structure

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:

The final letter-grade scale is:


Attendance Policy

Email Policy

Cheating Policy

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:

  1. Find and evaluate statistical information in discussions and presentations
  2. Use statistical procedures and standard techniques in data gathering, summary, and presentations.
  3. Interpret data sampling and inferential statistics (hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.)
  4. 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.

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