Honors Applied Statistical Methods
STAT 1000

Fall 2014, Mon.Wed.Fri. 12:00 in Lawrence 205 CRN 12736, 4 credits [recitations CRN 12737 in Posvar 4430 or 1201]
Department of Statistics
University of Pittsburgh

Instructor Dr. Nancy Pfenning
Office Cathedral 2710
Website www.pitt.edu/~nancyp/stat-1000/index.html
E-mail nancypfenning@gmail.com
  412-521-8349 (home, if urgent, before 10pm)
  412-624-8336 (during office hours)
Office Hrs. Thurs. 10:00-11:45 or by appt.
Stat Lab Posvar 1201 for recitations; CL G26 for help from Stat staff.
Course Assistant Joel Roggeman jkr21@pitt.edu Office Hours Thursdays 3:00 to 5:00 in CL 2712
Tutors Contact the Academic Resource Center 648-7920 for free tutoring by undergrads or visit their website.


  • November 2014 Practice Final available; see solutions
  • Practice Midterm 2 and Solutions to Practice Midterm 2
  • Try all the problems in Practice Midterm 1 by Friday, October 4th; see solutions .
  • Link to number sense activity
  • As of November 1, the following seminars are available: #27-#28, 29(b), Labs 6-8, #31-36
  • Lab Problems 1 to 4 (done together in Stat Lab for 15 pts.), 5 to 8 (done together in Stat Lab for 15 pts. and may be presented as seminars), 9 to 12 (done independently and handed in for 20 pts.)
  • Monday, October 13 is Fall Break and no classes meet that day. Instead, all Monday classes are shifted to Tuesday, October 14 and classes for Tuesday are cancelled that week.
  • Blank Homework Forms (to be printed if you didn't pick one up in class)
  • Seminar Topics
  • Powerpoint Lecture Slides
  • Practice Quizzes and Solutions
  • Student Survey data: Fall2012StudentSurveyData.txt a tab-delimited text file, is now available;
  • normal populations (n=1000, n=150, n=100) for activity on sampling without replacement
  • To download it into MINITAB, type ctrl A to highlight, ctrl C to copy, start up MINITAB, type ctrl V to paste it. If it asks about delimiters, click OK.
  • MINITAB is available on the PCs at all campus computing labs, such as Cathedral, Forbes Quad, Benedum, and of course the Stat Lab. If in addition you would like to have MINITAB on your PC, Pitt's Software Download Service offers MINITAB for free. Alternatively, a free fully functional demo can be downloaded from www.minitab.com BUT it will only run for 30 days, so consider waiting until later in the semester!
  • Recitations on the following dates: Aug 28, Oct.9, Oct.16, Oct.23, Nov.13, Nov.20, Dec. 1, Dec. 4 will be held in the Posvar 1201 Computer Lab unless announced otherwise.
  • Handout in recitation on MINITAB 17 Basics to be used as a reference for all MINITAB work; for work on a Mac, see MinitabForMac .
  • Description

    This course is an intensive introduction to statistical methods which stresses the development of critical thinking skills and increased awareness of how these methods are applied in a variety of disciplines. It is designed for students who want to do data analysis and to study further ideas in applied statistics beyond this course. Students are encouraged to investigate applications in their own major or areas of personal interest. The topics covered include descriptive statistics, elementary probability, random sampling, controlled experiments, hypothesis testing, regression, chi-square, and the analysis of variance. In addition, students will be exposed to more advanced topics in modern statistical practice. Emphasis will be placed on the statistical reasoning underlying the methods. Students will also become proficient at the use of a statistical software package, MINITAB.


    Mandatory for all recitations. Up to 3 absences tolerated for lectures.


    MATH 0031 (Algebra) or equivalent. No Comp. Sci. background needed.


    Homework assignments , computer lab problems, quizzes, two midterms, and a comprehensive final exam.


    13 Homeworks 300
    12 Lab (Software) Problems 50
    2 Seminar Presentations 30
    Seminar Questions/Comments 20
    Midterm 1 150
    Midterm 2 150
    Final Exam 300
    Total 1000

    Course Grade

    Note that for seminars involving the discussion of a news story or journal article (1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35) all students must write up at least 2 questions/comments per article(s), which they have read in advance. They should refer to those questions/comments during discussion, then turn them in for credit at the end of class.
    Grading system is the usual 90-100% A; 80-89% B; etc. Plusses are assigned to the students at the top of each grade range and minuses to the students at the bottom. None of us can know in advance if an individual student will be a "borderline case"; doing your best throughout the semester can help you to optimize your chances for the best possible grade.


    Pfenning Elementary Statistics: Looking at the Big Picture (c)2011 Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, sold royalty-free at the University of Pittsburgh Book Center. Do not order the Instructor's Edition online. If you'd like to consult other statistics books for reference, ask me in office hours. A calculator (any kind) is needed.


    • Thursday, 12:00-12:50 Posvar 4430 or 1201
    Recitations will be used for seminar-style presentations featuring either applications of statistical methods in current media or research reports or student-led activities to aid in understanding principles of sampling and random behavior. Sign up with me in class.

    Note: The material in this course is cumulative in nature. Thus, it is important not to fall behind in your reading or assignments or you will find yourself lost. If you are confused, see me or our course assistant for help.

    Note to Students with Disabilities: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability Resources and Services, 216 WPU (412) 648-7890, as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course. See their website www.drs.pitt.edu

    Academic Integrity Every student is responsible for understanding and abiding by the University's code for ethical behavior, as outlined on this website: http://www.as.pitt.edu/fac/policies/academic-integrity

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