Spring 2018

# home

## Official Blurb

Statistics is the science--and art--of extracting data from the world around us and organizing, summarizing and analyzing it in order to draw conclusions or make predictions. This course provides a grounding in the principles and methods of statistics as commonly used in the natural and social sciences. Topics include: probability theory, data collection, description, visualization, probability, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression and analysis of variance. We will use the open source statistical computing package R (no prior computing experience is assumed).

## Extra Blurb

Given that we have a small number of students with different backgrounds and goals, we're going to be a bit more flexible with the structure this semester. Each of you will design your own curriculum, including how you wish to be evaluated. There will be some constraints and, I hope, lots of group work as you either have some of the same goals or can usefully work on a project from different angles.

The usual main syllabus looks roughly like:

• a good fraction of the free OpenIntro Stats book,
• a good dose of using the free software R, mostly as a glorified calculator rather than the fully-fledged statistical programming language it really is,
• work on data visualisations, both analysing and creating them,
• a substantial project, the default for which is either an analysis of some use of stats in the news (Fr and So) or a deeper look at some statistical aspect of your field of study (Jr and Sr), but which can be pretty much anything that is at least somewhat related to stats.

A couple of extra pieces I was planning to throw into the mix this semester:

• Work on Marlboro data. This has always been peripherally part of the class, but this semester I'd like to embed it more deeply. In particular, I'd like to do something that is useful to someone else at the college rather than just taking the data and doing things that are good for the class with it.
• Thinking about bullshit, a topic very closely related to Statistics. There are a lot of good resources at that link we could examine some fraction of.

You are expected to be aware of the college's policy on academic integrity and to abide by it. Please come and talk to me if anything is unclear.