Mathematics 363

Introduction to Statistical Methods

Fall 2013

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Course Syllabus 

Course Assignments

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In Introduction to Statistical Methods, we shall be using your background in science and your knowledge of calculus and differential equations to consider the issues of collection, model derivation and analysis, interpretation, explanation, and presentation of data.  Even though our examples derive mainly from the life sciences, statistics is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to the humanities.


Day-to-Day Operations. 

The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM in room 351 of the Education Building.  The course will use a textbook written by the instructor and is be available to the students. The schedule of topics, the textbook, and assignments are given in the course syllabus.  The class will have an undergraduate teaching assistant, Adrian Carballeira. Andrian has majors in mathematics, Spanish, and ecology and evolutionary biology.




office hours


Joe Watkins

jwatkins at

12:00 – 1:30 Wednesdays

9:30 – 10:00 Fridays

10:00 – 11:00 Fridays

522 Mathematics

522 Mathematics 220 Mathematics

Adrian Carballeira

adrianc at

3:00 – 4:00 Tuesdays

3:00 – 4:00 Thursdays

220 Mathematics

220 Mathematics


Feel free to stop by my office in room 522 of the Mathematics Building, call me at 621-5245 or send an email.


Use of Software.

We will do some software computation using R.  R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. To download R, please choose your preferred CRAN mirror. Copies of Introductory Statistics with R by Peter Dalgaard are available at the bookstore. Other options for software assistance can be found on the resource webpage.


Evaluation of Students.

We shall have 2 in-class midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam. Our final is scheduled for Thursday, December 19th, 2013 from 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.


Homework is an essential part of any mathematics or statistics course. Problem sets will be collected approximately bi-weekly. In addition, we will have 5 short response assignments. These will give you the opportunity to express your views on some of the modern issues in statistics. Students will also design and complete a small project that analyzes data using statistical software. Permission to turn in late homework for credit must be arranged in advance.


The grading scheme is





problem sets








midterm exams








final exam







Grades will be given on the usual scale A is 90%-100%, B is 80%-89%, C is 70%-79%, D is 60%-69%, and E is below 60%. The instructors may move these cutoff values down. If you fail to complete the course due to circumstances unforeseen, then you may qualify for a grade of I, "incomplete'" if all of the conditions are met:



Students should take the time to become familiar with the Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity.


Best wishes to you for a good semester in this course and in all your other activities.


  - Joe Watkins