Syllabus: Stat 202 Spring 2015

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Basic Statistics (Stat 202) Section 001

(Class materials)

Instructor: Sean Carver, Ph.D., Professorial Lecturer, American University.


  • office location: 107 Gray Hall
  • email:
  • office phone: 202-885-6629

Course Description (from department website): Data presentation, display, and summary, averages, dispersion, simple linear regression, and correlation, probability, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and tests of significance. Use of statistical software both to analyze real data and to demonstrate and explore concepts. Four credit hours.

Prerequisite: MATH-15x or higher, or permission of department. No prior knowledge of statistics is assumed.

Text: David Moore, George McCabe, and Bruce A. Craig, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics (Seventh Edition), W. H. Freeman and Company.

Software: StatCrunch (web-based software), use this link:

Learning Outcomes: [Credit Emmanuel Addo, Spring 2013]. By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Use and understand common statistical terminology.
  • Understand data collection methods including designed experiments and sampling methods.
  • Know when to use stemplot, histograms, pie charts, bar charts, and box plots to describe a given distribution.
  • Calculate and interpret the measures of center and spread.
  • Understand the concepts of correlation and linear regression.
  • Understand the concepts of randomness and probability.
  • Understand and interpret probability distributions such as the normal, student's t- and chi-square distributions.
  • State the central limit theorem and understand the concept of a sampling distribution.
  • Calculate confidence intervals for means and proportions--one sample.
  • Use sampling techniques to test hypotheses for means and proportions--one and two samples, contingency table, and goodness-of-fit.

Office Hours: Students are strongly encouraged to come to office hours if they need or want help.

My office is Gray Hall, Room 107. Office hours are tentatively scheduled as follows: (may be adjusted throughout the semester)

  • 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Wednesday
  • 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Thursday
  • 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Friday.

Tutoring through MATH/STAT tutoring center: Gray Hall, Room 110, Hours:

  • Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday - Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Class times and locations:

  • Tuesday: 08:55AM - 10:10AM, HURST HALL, Room 110
  • Wednesday: 08:55AM - 09:55AM, HURST HALL, Room 109
  • Friday: 08:55AM - 10:10AM, HURST HALL, Room 110

Important Dates:

  • February 13 (Friday): EXAM 1, during class, in our classroom
  • March 8-15 (Sunday-Sunday): Spring Break, No Class
  • March 27 (Friday): EXAM 2, during class, in our classroom
  • April 24 (Friday): Last day of class
  • May 5 (Tuesday), 8:55AM - 11:25AM: FINAL EXAM: Location to be announced

Tentative grading scheme:

Homework, Attendance and Participation 25%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final 25%

Academic Integrity: Cheating is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Consider this: in subtle ways, cheating to get a better grade on an exam can result in lowering the grades of some of your classmates. Certainly this is true when a specific curve is used to assign grades. Even when I don't use curves explicitly, they can be implicit in decisions about writing and grading exams. As required by the policy of American University, I will report all suspected cases of cheating to the Dean's office who will proceed to investigate and adjudicate the issues. Cheating is giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on exams, from other students or other people, from notes, from books, or from the web. When inappropriate copying between students is caught, both parties may be culpable.

Homework, Attendance and Participation Policy: Usually I award a maximum of 10 points for each homework set, due one week after it is assigned. Additionally I award 5 points per day for class attendance. I like to give the solutions to homework problems at the same time I assign the problems. Conscientious students, who wrestle with problems before looking at the answers, benefit from having instant feedback about their solutions, right, wrong, or incomplete. Less conscientious students who use the answers to easily complete the assignments often do poorly on exams. The responsibility for your education rests in your own hands. Don't be one of the outliers who use shortcuts to avoid preparing for the exams. Concerning homework, you are encouraged to work with your classmates, if you find that helpful. In fact, you are encouraged to do whatever you find most helpful with the homework, but by turning in a solution to a problem, you pledge that you understand the solution, or that you talked to me in office hours or during or after class and made a good faith effort to understand how to do the problem. If it looks like you got the full benefit from the assignment, I will award you a perfect 10 points. I may mark you down if it seems that you have copied the answers without including any of the required calculations. You must include your work. One more thing about homework: you can turn in your homework by showing me your solutions during office hours or during active-learning periods of class, or after class. Some students prefer to turn in their work this way because they prefer not to tear pages from their notebooks.

Public Service Announcement: A representative of AU's Students Against Sexual Violence (SASV) approached me and asked me to include on my syllabi a list of resources available for survivors of sexual assault and their friends. While sexual violence is by no means the only challenge faced by students, I agree that this issue merits particular attention. All faculty and staff at AU are legally bound to help students who disclose Title IX violations, which includes sexual violence, harassment, stalking, and sex discrimination. Most of us are not trained therapists and we are not supposed to give counseling. Instead, we are supposed help connect survivors with the people who can help them, by, for example, providing a list of resources, such as the one provided below. While the law I mentioned concerns only students asking for help with Title IX violations, it strikes me that the principle should apply more broadly. If there is anything that is negatively affecting your academic performance in my class, and you ask for help, I will try to connect you with the people and resources that can help you. I probably won't know these things off the top of my head, but I can ask the people who do. If you come to me for such help, I will treat you with compassion, without judgment, and with respect for your privacy. On the other hand, if you are struggling in my class for whatever reason, you shouldn't feel like you need to explain: I'm here to help you reach your goals and dreams, to teach you statistics, and to assess how well you learned the material in my class.

Sexual Assault Resources

  • It’s never the survivor’s fault. There are many people you can talk to if you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted:
  • AU's Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator Daniel Rappaport (
  • AU's Coordinator for Victim Advocacy Sara Yzaguirre (
  • DC SANE Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) 1-800-641-4028
  • The only hospital in DC area that gives Physical Evidence Recover Kits (rape kits) is Medstar Washington Hospital
  • DC Rape Crisis Center: 202-333-7273
  • Students found responsible for sexual misconduct can be sanctioned with penalties that include suspension or expulsion from American University, and they may be subject to criminal charges
  • If you want to submit a formal complaint against someone who has sexually assaulted you, harassed you, or discriminated against you based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, you can do so online at, or contact the Dean of Students at or 202-885-3300. These are Title IX violations, and universities are legally required to prohibit these actions.
  • Resources on campus that are required to keep what you tell them confidential are Daniel Rappaport, Sara Yzaguirre, ordained chaplains in Kay, and counselors at the counseling center