Fall 2014

Instructor:  Jim Wiseman
Office:  Buttrick 331
Phone:  x6202
Email:  jwiseman@agnesscott.edu (I check email much more frequently than voicemail.)

Office hours:  Mon 1:30-3:00, Tues 2:30-4:00, and by appointment.

Course information:  Available on Moodle and the course website, http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~jwiseman/mat115 .

Required material:  Moore and McCabe, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, 5th ed., available in the bookstore.  The publisher has a website for a more recent edition of the book at http://bcs.whfreeman.com/ips7e.  You will also need a scientific calculator (it doesn't have to be a graphing calculator, but that will certainly work).

Software:  We'll be using the statistical software Fathom.  There's information about  how to use it on Dr. Koch's website, http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~akoch/Fathom_Help/help.html.  You can download a copy for your own computer from http://concord.org/fathom-dynamic-data-software.

Plan: We'll cover most of chapters 1-9 and 12.  Topics include data collection, data analysis, probability, and statistical inference.  There's a more detailed schedule at http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~jwiseman/mat115/schedule.html, but it's subject to change.

Homework:  Working problems is vital to learning statistics; there will be homework assignments nearly every week, to be completed by class time on Wednesday.  Most of them you will not turn in, but you are responsible for the material.  Roughly every other chapter you will have a short assignment that you will turn in.  Assignments will be posted at http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~jwiseman/mat115/assignments.html – you are responsible for checking the assignments, as I won't give them in class.  In addition to these weekly assignments, there is:

The Daily Problem:  Before the start of almost every class, you will need to complete a problem on Moodle.  Dr. Koch has provided instructions for completing the Daily Problem.  You will not be able to access a Daily Problem after its due date.  These problems will help you keep up with the material, but doing them alone is not enough to prepare you for the exams - you must do the weekly homework as well.

Final project: You will work in groups of three on a final project.  You will collect and analyze data on a topic of your choice, and present your results in a short paper and an 8-minute in-class presentation.  Your proposal is due by 3:30 on 10/3; a paper draft is due in class 11/24, and the final paper is due in class 12/8.  The presentations will begin 12/3.  Your specific presentation time will not be scheduled until later in the semester, so you must be prepared to present as early as 12/3.  There are more details here.

Honor code and group work:  All students are expected to follow the honor code (more details available on Moodle) throughout the semester.
I strongly encourage you to work on the homework in groups.  I suggest that you work on the problems by yourself first, making a note of anything giving you trouble; then meet with your group and work through the remaining problems together; and finally write up the problems again by yourself.
Getting help:  As Talking Barbie says, "Math class is tough."  (Unless she's the hacked version - then she says, "Eat lead, Cobra.")  Chances are that sooner or later you'll get stuck on something, so don't get frustrated.  Think hard, and if you're still stuck, do something else for a while.  (It's amazing how often that works.)
My office hours are above - these are times when I'm guaranteed to be in my office and willing to talk.  If you want to see me at other times, the best thing to do is to set up an appointment with me by email or after class.  Of course, you're welcome to just drop by my office, as long as you don't mind if I'm not there or don't have time to talk.
Student learning assistants in the Math Learning Center will be able to provide help throughout the week. More details, including the schedule, are on Moodle and at http://www.agnesscott.edu/mathematics/files/documents/learning-assistants-schedule.pdf. You are encouraged to use this service, and should think of it as part of your weekly mathematics regimen.
Finally, I can't emphasize enough that your classmates are your best source of help.
Course goals: Learn to:
Exams and deadlines:
Assessment:  Each midterm 20%, homework (including the Daily Problem) 15%, final project proposal 5%, final project presentation 5%, final project paper 10%, final exam 25%.
Late work:  If your project proposal or paper draft is late, you will get a zero on that part of your grade.  Late homework and projects won't be accepted, and you won't be allowed to make up missed exams, except under very exceptional circumstances (e.g., the sasquatch attacks - and even then you should get a note from the sasquatch).  In the case of a conflict that you absolutely can't resolve (for example, a religious holiday), you may arrange to take a midterm exam early.
Attendance:  I expect you to be at every class, on time.  Attendance is mandatory during the project presentations and on exam days.  Tardiness or absence on other days will have no (direct) effect on your grade.

Cell phones:  Cell phone use (including texting) is of course not permitted in class.  Turn off cell phones, smart phones, etc., before class.

Course evaluation: Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me, the math department, and the administration.  In particular, I take your comments very seriously and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it.  You are responsible for completing an evaluation of the course at the end of the semester.