Richard L. Smith
Office: Hanes 303. Phone: 962-2660. Email:
Office hours (provisionally): Mondays 1:30-3:15 pm; Tuesdays 11:00-noon.

Course Web Page:

Please check the course web page often, as important information will be placed on it.

Class time and place: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:45 a.m. Hanes 120

Instructional Assistant (IA): Xuan Wang, Hanes B56. Office hours to be announced.

PLEASE NOTE: You cannot receive credit for Stat 151 if you have previously taken Econ 70 or Psych 30.

Course Text

Statistics: The Art and Science of Learning from Data by Agresti and Franklin. Second Edition, 2008. Published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall. This is a required text and you do need to have the second edition. There is also a looseleaf version which is equally acceptable. The E-book version may also be adequate but at the present time I am not recommending that.


The first class is on Tuesday January 11 and the last class is on Tuesday April 27. There will be no class on March 9 or March 11 because of Spring Break. If there are any changes in the class schedule you will be informed.

There will be two midterm exams and one final. The midterms have been tentatively scheduled for Thursday February 18 and Thursday March 18. The final exam will be on Saturday, May 1, beginning at 8:00 am. If anyone knows of any reason why the midterm exams should NOT be on those dates, please let me know as soon as possible. If enough people request a change for good reason, I may change it. However, unless I make an announcement, assume the midterms will be on those dates.

With the final exam, you have the right to request a rescheduling under the "three exams in 24 hours" rule. Such a request must be made to (and approved by) your dean, not by me. However, if you intend to make such a request, please let me know no later than the second midterm. I need this information if I am to make an acceptable alternative schedule.

Homeworks will be set each Thursday and returned the following Thursday. The first homework assignment is given below; others will be announced in class and on the course web page.

Grades will be assigned as follows: 25% homeworks, 20% each midterm, 35% final exam. Your lowest three homework scores will be disregarded in computing the homework average. This policy is designed to compensate for occasional emergencies when you don't get the homework completed on time. Please don't abuse it by simply ignoring some of the homework assignments.

Class Policies

You are expected to attend class and to sign the attendance sheet each time. I don't have a formal policy that ties your grade to your attendance record, and I understand that students occasionally have to miss class for reasons beyond their control. There is no ask formal permission if you do have to miss class, but you should let me know if you are likely to miss several classes. Also, I understand that you may sometimes have to miss part of a class for various reasons (e.g. doctor's appointment, official sports event); in such cases, it is acceptable to leave early (or arrive late) in order to attend your appointment. However it is not acceptable to stay just for a few minutes, sign the attendance sheet, and then leave. If I feel you are deliberately misrepresenting your attendance on the attendance sheet, I reserve the right to treat that as a violation of the Honor Code.

The Honor Code will be followed at all times and you will be expected to sign a Pledge on all exams, "I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid in completing this exam." In homework assignments, you are allowed to consult with each other, with me or the IA, or with a tutoring service if you use one. I encourage you to work the homework assignments in groups if you feel that is the best way for you to work. However, what you hand in must be your own work. Direct copying from another student, or from some other source that is not one of the official class resources, is not allowed and will be treated as a violation of the Honor Code. Please contact me if you have any questions about how this rule operates in practice.

In exams, your answers are expected to be entirely your own work and any copying or consultation with other students will be treated as a violation of the Honor Code. You are entitled to ask the instructor if you feel a question is ambiguous or if for some other reason you need clarification.

Exams will be open book. You will need a calculator and should bring it to class and (especially) to the exams. There is no requirement (or restriction) on the kind of calculator you can use, but a basic calculator that performs the usual arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots, etc.) is all you actually need. Exams will use "blue books" and you should bring your own answer book(s) to the exam.

There is an instructional CD and you are entitled and encouraged to use these and other computing resources (such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel) in completing homework assignments. Computers will not be used (or permitted) in any of the exams.

All homeworks are expected to be handed in on time and there will be no credit for late homework. As noted above, the grading policy allows you to miss up to three homework assignments without penalty.

There are no makeups for exams unless agreed with me at least 3 weeks in advance, or in cases of genuine emergency . If you think you might have to miss an exam, it is essential that you contact me as soon as you know you may have a problem.

If anyone has to miss a class or exam because of a religious holiday, that is acceptable but I ask that you let me know. If one of the designated midterm exam dates clashes with a religious holiday that you must observe, let me know at once.

If you are a member of a university athletic team or some other university-sponsored activity that allows you to miss class, you will be excused according to university regulations, but it's essential you let me know well in advance if you are likely to miss an exam.

Homework 1, due Thursday January 21:

Chapter 1, questions 1.24, 1.33. Chapter 2, questions 2.6, 2.8.

Note: Question 1.33 essentially asks you to find a newspaper article of your own choosing that uses statistics, and describe briefly the type of statistical reasoning it involves. You can include a physical cutting from a newspaper, or a photocopy, or a printout from a news website such as,, or If the article is too long to include the whole thing, just hand in the part that refers to statistics. However, I do want everyone to hand in the article as well as your own commentary about it! (The commentary, however, need be no more than a couple of sentences.)