Probability and Statistics

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Probability and Statistics
Math Course
Course CodePRST
Year Of Operation1999
Sites OfferedFRD
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):

How do we know that the chances of being struck by lightning while waiting in line to buy a Powerball ticket are greater than the chances of winning the Powerball Lottery? While that is not one of the most critical questions of the day, it is probably one of the more challenging (and entertaining) questions for a statistician to answer. Many questions in the field of probability and statistics are central to government, public health, and economics. Statistics tell us everything from public opinion on important issues of the day to the effectiveness of different drugs in curing cancer and AIDS. In short, statistics are vital to our everyday lives.

At the same time, we are frequently warned to view statistics with a critical eye. The complexity of the study of statistics is that it mixes concrete data, quantified as numbers, with different practices of interpretation, as well as different goals for the use of the information. In this class, students learn both the "how" of using statistical methods and the "why" behind their interpretation. Through basic probability concepts as set theory, combinations, and permutations, students collect, organize, summarize, analyze, and communicate numerical information. They also learn to calculate the margin of error for statistical reports, as well as different techniques for graphing data effectively. Statistics is a broad mathematical discipline, and this class provides students with a solid foundation for working with empirical data, useful for a wide range of future studies and careers.