Math 150: Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Spring 2014


The dates for the final exam are:
Section 1: On Saturday May 3 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm,
Section 2: On Friday May 2 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

Practice Exam 4and its

Midterm 3 and its

Practice Exam 3 to prepare for the midterm next Wednesday (April 9).
Solutions to the practice exam.

Solutions to the homework problems from Section 6.5.

Midterm 2 and its

Practice Exam 2.
Solutions to the practice exam.

First midterm and its

First practice exam and its

Homework 12 is due on Monday April 28, 2014. It consists of the following exercises:
Section 10.2: 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19.
Section 10.3: 3, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19.
To get more practice with these topics, do the following exercises:
Section 10.2: 1-18.
Section 10.3: 1-18.

In today's class (March 21) I mentioned how men and women have different weight distributions so that if we combine them, the distribution looks bimodal (two peaks). This article by statisticians at Johns Hopkins has a good analysis of when two distributions combine into two peaks and when they combine into one peak. It turns out the example in class would combine to one peak. The "living" histogram pictures in the article are also worth looking at.

This Slate article provides a very important reason why the confusion of the inverse is important (a topic we covered in Section 4.5).

This link is the Mathematica file I showed in class simulating the distribution of the 59 (alive) Hunger games winners into their respective districts. To view it, you must download it on your computer and use Mathematica. To make the simulator run, put the cursor on top of the program (the bit that goes from count=0 all the way down to N[1-count/n]) and click Shift + Enter.

Bill Barnwell wrote a very good football article using z-scores to compare football offenses (and defenses) across eras. You can find the article here.


Elementary Statistics (12th edition) by Mario F. Triola.

Topics to be covered

In this class we'll give an introduction to probability and statistics. We'll cover Chapters 1 through 8 of the textbook and Chapter 10. If there's time we'll cover more.


The course grade will be based on:
Homework 10%,
Midterm 1   20%,
Midterm 2   20%,
Midterm 3   20%
Final Exam 30%.


There will be written homework due roughly every week. Collaboration in the homework is permitted, but you are not allowed to copy someone else's work. The solutions must be written individually. The homeworks will be posted in the Announcements section and also on this link.

The homework problems will be designed to reinforce ideas and develop your logical reasoning abilities. The numerical grade given on a single assignment is not important for your grade (it is mainly to give you feedback on how you're doing). As long as HW is consistently done and of reasonable quality you will get the full benefit of this 10% of your grade. Late HW will NOT be accepted.


On the midterms and the final exam you must work on the problems on your own. No collaboration permitted in the exams. Also, no calculators or notes are permitted. A simple calculator will be provided to you for the exam.
The first midterm will be on Wednesday February 5.

The second midterm will be on Friday February 28.

The third midterm will be on Wednesday April 9.

The final exam will be a cumulutive three hour exam.

The dates for the final exam are to be determined.

Section 1: On Saturday May 3 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm,
Section 2: On Friday May 2 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.


Students are expected to come to every lecture and every exam. If the dates of the exams conflict with Lake Forest approved events, inform me as soon as possible.


There will also be drop-in tutor help for this class in YH 107 or YH 118 at the following times (with the following tutors):

Accommodations Statement

If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please consult with The Learning and Teaching Center. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact the center as soon as possible. For details about the services for students with disabilities and the accomodations process, visit

You are also welcome to contact me privately to discuss your academic needs. However, all disability-related accommodations must be arranged through Teryn Robinson at the Learning and Teaching Center.

Last modified on April 30, 2014.