|General Course Information||Course Content||Required Background||Software|
|Textbooks||Required Work||Grading||Detailed Course Schedule|
|OH: Tuesday 10PM-midight
||OH: Thursday 2:45-4:15
My colleague Bob Muller calls this policy the
'laptop-free classroom'. (For 'laptop', read 'laptop and
A successful class requires your attention,
engagement, and participation. You need to be prepared
to ask and answer questions during the lectures, and to
attend to the questions and answers of your fellow students
and of the instructor. That screen open to your e-mail
or Facebook page distracts not only you, but the students
sitting behind you. For this reason, open laptops are
not permitted in the classroom, unless they are part
of some planned activity for which your computer is
You say you're taking notes on that
laptop instead of shopping on Amazon? You should be aware
that (a) it is very difficult to take notes for this class
on a computer, given the large number of mathematical
symbols, formulas and diagrams that we use; and (b) taking
notes by hand is better for you. It is
acceptable to take notes on a tablet computer with a stylus.
Exceptions to this rule will be made for the
rare instances of in-class activities that require students
to use their computers. There will be one such activity on
the first day of class.
||Handouts and Lecture Notes
Simulations in Python and matplotlib.
in-class exercise for the first day
Installing and using the software
Coin-tossing experiments (heavily commented Python code to demonstrate the plotting and numerical tools)
How to prepare the homework (a mockup homework assignment).
The 'hot hands' paper by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky
Non-required reading: Is there such a thing as an unfair coin?No, say these Statistics professors
Yes, claims this guy (along with disturbing photographic instructions for how to make such a coin).
Maybe they're all unfair.
1, due January 24.
spaces, Independent events (2.1,2.2)
|| Assignment 2, due January
January 30-February 2
solution to the birthday problem.
||Assignment 3, due February
The birth date data for 2000-2003.
February 6-February 8
|Discrete random variables. (Chapter 3)||Assignment 4, due February
February 13-February 15
|More discrete random variables. Geometric distribution. Poisson distribution.||Python code using cumulative distribution function to simulate roll of two dice.|
February 20-February 22
| Expected value.
February 28-March 2
Conditional probability and Bayes's Theorem.
|The midterm with
March 14-March 16
|Continuous sample spaces
and continuous random variables.
of Buffon Needle problem
||Assignment 5. Part 1 is
due March 20, Part 2 March 27.
(The supporting files are on the Canvas site.)
||Variance, Markov's and
of exponential- and Poisson-distributed random
||Assignment 6, due Monday
(just one class:)
|Normal distribution, Law of Large Numbers and Central Limit Theorem||Central
Limit Theorem demo, showing convergence of
binomial and sums of exponential random variables to
standard normal density.
Polling demo, graphical display of confidence intervals in repeated simulations of poll.
|Assignment 7, due Tuesday,
||More on Central Limit Theorem (Chapter 5)|
demonstrates normal distribution of real-world data
probplots.py demonstrates probability plots
The second midterm, with solutions.
|Assignment 8, due April 26
||Markov Chains (Chapter 9)
Simulating a Markov chain (with one line of code!)
due May 3