Mathematics 466

Theory of Statistics

Spring 2008

Course Homepage


 Course syllabus.



In the Theory of Statistcs, we shall be using our previous knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, and probability to consider the issues of  collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation of data. Statistics is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to the humanities


Day to Day Operations. 

The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM in room 305 of the Psychology Building. Our text is Introduction to Statistical Theory by Paul G. Hoel, Sidney C. Port and Charles J. Stone. We will cover most of the material in the textbook plus some supplementary material. A summary of the class notes will be available to the students. The schedule of topics, the class notes and the assignments are given in the course syllabus. My office hours are Tuesdays at 2 and Thursdays at 11. I will be also spending from 12  to 1 Fridays of each week in the tutoring room in Math East 149. Feel free to stop by my office, room 520 of the Mathematics building, calling me at 6321-5245 or writing me  - jwatkins at


The class has a teaching assistant, Tom LaGatta. Tom’s office hours at Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 in his office, room 513 of the Mathematics building.


Use of Software.

We will doing some software computation using R.  R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. To download R, please choose your preferred CRAN mirror. Copies of Introductory Statistics with R by Peter Dalgaard are available at the bookstore. Other options for software assistance can be found on the resource webpage.


Evaluation of Students.

We shall have 2 in-class midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam on Tuesday, May 13 from 8:00AM to10:00AM.


Homework is an essential part of any mathematics course Homework will be collected approximately bi-weekly. The homework grade will be based on the top 6 homework scores. Permisssion to turn in late homework for credit must be arranged in advance. Students will also design and complete a small software project.


The grading scheme is






problem sets




midterm exams








final exam









Grades will be given on the usual scale A is 90%-100%, B is 80%-89%, C is 70%-79%, D is 60%-69%, and E is below 60%. If you fail to complete the course due to circumstances unforeseen, then you may qualify for a grade of I, “incomplete'” if all of the conditions are met:



Students should take the time to become familiar with student policies, procedures, and codes.


Best wishes to you for a good semester in this course and in all your other activities.


  - Joe Watkins