August 24, 2005

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Swarthmore College - Fall, 2007
Statistics 1 - Statistical Thinking

Class: Science Center L26, MWF 10:30-11:20am.

Instructor:   Walter Stromquist
   Office: Science Center 159.
   Office hours: Tu-Thur 1:30-3:30 or whenever.
   Phone: Cell 610-220-4382 (ok to leave messages).
   Office phone 610-690-6827 (please don't leave messages).
   For snow emergencies on class days, call the office phone 610-690-6827 after 9:30am.

Text:   Moore and Notz, Statistics: Concepts and Controversies, 6rd ed., W. H. Freeman, ISBN 0-7167-8636-2.

Course objectives:  We'll read the entire text. (That shouldn't be too painful; it is well written and has just the right amount of material.) We'll look for uses of statistics in science, politics, and the news generally---mainly, uses of statistics to persuade---and apply what we have learned to analyze and critique them. We'll use Excel and become masters of Excel's data-handling and statistical features. Finally, we'll do projects and, in the process, learn how to make those giant 2-foot-by-3-foot scholarly posters you see in the Commons.

Web site:

Course requirements:   Homework due weekly on Fridays. (Stat clinic is available on Wednesday and Thursday night.) Chapter mini-quizzes weekly on Mondays. Two exams, tentatively about Oct. 5 and Nov. 16. Projects in the form of posters analyzing some statistical claim found in science or the news. Final exam.

From the catalog:  "Statistics provides methods for collecting and analyzing data and generalizing from their results. Statistics is used in a wide variety of fields, and this course provides an understanding of the role of statistics in these fields and in everyday life. It is intended for students who want an appreciation of statistics, including the ability to interpret and evaluate statistical claims critically but who do not imagine they will ever need to carry out statistical analyses themselves. (Those who may need to carry out statistical analyses should take STAT 011.) This course cannot be counted toward a major in mathematics, is not a prerequisite for any other course, and cannot be taken for credit after or simultaneously with any other statistics course, including AP Statistics and ECON 031."

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