DSC 3130
Business Statistics I


For the Spring term of 2008
Textbook Business Statistics in Practice
Bowerman and O'Connell, 4th edition (2007)
We will use the same textbook for DSC 3140
Exams
(tentative plan) three or four exams, including the final exam.
My stat exams require you to show that you understand the vocabulary and concepts and that you can work out problems.  Some of the vocabulary and conceptual questions will be multiple-choice questions, but most of the questions will be problem-solving questions.
Homework
There will be some graded homework -- about four to six exercises.
In statistics classes, it is important to keep up with the material and be ready for class every day.  What we cover one week depends on what we covered in the previous weeks.  So, even if there is no homework due, work problems on your own.
Calculator
You should have a decent scientific calculator.  Many calculators will perform basic statistical functions, but these functions are not necessary for this class.  If you calcluator has an "S" above one of the keys, it probably has statistical functions.   If you are going to buy a new calculator, I would recommend the Texas Instruments BA-II or BA-II Plus, or the TI-83, TI-83 Plus, TI-84 Plus, or TI-84 Plus Silver.  The TI-89 series is too much.  Unless you're a serious geek, I don't recommend it.

Topics
This course is mainly about descriptive statistics.  We will study ways to describe populations of data and samples of data.  We will examine graphs and probabilities and some common probability distributions.  Toward the end of the course, we will start to think about the relationships between the measures computed from samples and the measures that describe the populations the samples are supposed to represent.

My philosophy in this course is that it is important to understand what the formulae do.  If you know what a formula does, it should help you understand what the numbers mean.  I will usually give simple examples that show how to use the formulae.  There are too many people who punch numbers into a computer and get numbers back without understanding what the computer has done and not really understanding what the numbers mean.  I want you to understand what the computer has done so that you will understand what the numbers really mean.