Rubye Elizabeth Thomas
Presentation of key concepts for understanding and judging reports of statistical analyses and for performing and reporting valid statistical analyses using a limited set of measures and tests.
Students can expect to become familiar with quantitative tools used by social scientists to address relevant questions about what’s happening in the world (e.g., how have college tuition rates changed over the last 20 years relative to inflation? Is lack of sunlight during Northwest winters related to higher rates of depression for area residents?) After taking this course, students should be able to recognize, understand, assess, and apply many of the analytical methods used in academic journals and in the popular media.
We will focus on the larger patterns and big ideas of statistics, not in the abstract, but in the context of learning specific skills and working with specific data. You do not need to be a math whiz to be successful in this course. Most computation will be done with the assistance of a “two-variable statistics” calculator and Excel (a software program widely available on campus and home PCs).
You do need to work hard to be successful in this course. Success in statistics means reading and listening carefully, asking questions, working through problems, discussing concerns with other students, coming to office hours when encountering a difficulty, and completing all assignments. Statistics is a course in which one learns by doing!
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Teaching methods include lecture, demonstrations, class discussion involving all participants, and small group work in class.
Knowledge of algebra is required; knowledge of calculus is NOT required. A calculator that does basic statistical calculations is recommended.
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be assigned according to the quality of participation in the following activities: (1) in-class projects, (2) written assignments (homework and reports), and (3) exams.