Introduction to Statistics I

Testing a new drug, evaluating the effects of free trade, making sound investment decisions, predicting who will win the World Series, are all activities that have in common the need to make sense out of ambiguous data. The modern discipline of statistics serves as a guide to scientists, policy makers and business managers who need to draw inferences or make decisions on the basis of uncertain information.

This pair of courses provides an introduction to the concepts of statistics with an emphasis on developing a critical attitude towards the use and misuse of statistics in science and business. Statistical techniques will include confidence intervals for means or comparing two means, contingency tables, simple regression and basic analysis of variance.

It is recommended that students have at least one OAC in mathematics but the mathematical level of the course will be quite elementary. Although students will be making some use of the computer to calculuate statistics, to create statistical plots, and to obtain a better appreciation of statistical concepts, no previous experience in computing is required. Students will receive in class all the necessary instruction about how to use the statistical computer package Minitab.

Although this course is recommended for students who wish to major in statistics, the concepts are broadly applicable and it should be interesting to students who do not plan to specialize in statistics.

The text will be D. S. Moore and G. P. McCabe, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, 2nd ed. (W.H. Freeman).

The final grade may be based (in each term) on assignments and/or quizzes, class tests and a final examination.