Syllabus for Math 332 (Mathematical Statistics I)

Fall 2015 Semester at Lycoming College


Course Content

MATH 332-333 is a two-course sequence.  This first course is a study of basic probability theory; discrete, continuous, and mixed random variables; expected values; moments; univariate probability distributions including the hypergeometric distribution, Bernoulli and binomial distributions, geometric and negative binomial distributions, Poisson distribution, discrete and continuous uniform distributions, exponential and gamma distributions, chi‑square distributions, and normal distributions; joint probability distributions including the multivariate hypergeometric distribution, multinomial distribution, and bivariate normal distribution; covariance and correlation; and conditional probability distributions.  The second course is a study of distributions associated the normal distribution; sampling distributions; the Central Limit Theorem; Chebyshev’s inequality; sampling distributions; order statistics; estimation; confidence intervals for means, variances, and proportions; one-sample and two-sample hypothesis tests; regression with corresponding confidence intervals and hypothesis tests; time-permitting, one-way analysis of variance and/or chi-square tests.


Course Goals

Goals for this course include developing critical thinking skills, and the abilities to apply techniques of calculus (i.e., derivatives, integration, infinite series) to assess the probability of an event, to interpret the result of a statistical study, and to solve mathematical problems with the use of technology.


Who Should be Taking This Course

This course is a requirement for the actuarial mathematics major and an elective choice toward the mathematics major.  It also satisfies the statistics requirement for secondary certification students in mathematics.  The corequisite is MATH 238 (Multivariable Calculus).


Lycoming College provides academic support for students who officially disclose diagnosed learning, physical, and psychological disabilities. If you have a diagnosed disability and would like to seek accommodations, please contact Jilliane Bolt-Michewicz, Assistant Dean of Academic Services/Director of the Academic Resource Center. Dean Bolt-Michewicz will help you arrange for appropriate academic accommodations. She can be reached by calling (570) 321-4050, emailing, or visiting her office (Academic Resource Center, 3rd Floor of Snowden Library).



Free Tutoring is available in the Math Center, on the third floor of the Snowden Library, for students who want to check homework answers for errors, get help doing homework, and ask questions about class work.  While tutors may need to give some detailed explanations to help students with questions, it is not the tutors’ job to teach material from scratch.  (Students who miss class should get a copy of class notes from the instructor, from a tutor, or from a classmate.  It is then the student’s responsibility to review the material, update notes, and direct any questions to a tutor, the instructor, or a classmate.)



Required Materials

Each student must have

·       a copy of the textbook: Probability and Statistical Inference, 9th edition, by Hogg, Tanis, and Zimmerman (Pearson, ISBN 978-0-321-92327-1)

·       a three-ring binder containing copy of this syllabus, the course schedule, class notes, completed assignments, etc. (Note: Since students will need to use this binder every day in class and will be allowed to use this binder for exams, the binders should be kept up-to-date and complete.)

·       a calculator (preferably a TI-84 calculator, but almost any calculator will be satisfactory)





Office Location

Office Hours

Office Phone

Dr. Gene Sprechini

Academic Center D311

Mon  9:30 to 10:00 AM

Tue   9:45 AM to 10:15 AM

Wed  9:30 to 10:00 AM

Fri     9:30 to 10:00 AM

(570) 321-4288





Point Values and Policies


Homework assignments are given at the end of each class; at the end of each class, the assignment due for the following class is announced and posted in red on the course schedule.  The total number of possible homework assignment points for the semester will most likely be somewhere between 450 and 550.

Late work is never accepted for any reason.  If within 24 hours a student gives a legitimate reason (as judged by the instructor) for not submitting an assignment on time, an alternative assignment and due date may be given to allow student to earn the missed points; assignments not submitted should be completed for practice and answers checked with a classmate, a tutor, or the instructor.  A student who misses submitting more than 10 homework assignments automatically fails the course.

Semester Exams

Six semester tests are given, one about every two weeks; specific dates are available from the course schedule.  Each semester test is worth 100 points, so that the total number of possible test points for the semester is 600.  For each missed test, a grade of zero is recorded, unless (1) the instructor is presented with documented evidence of a medical reason for not completing the test at the scheduled time, and (2) arrangements to make up the test are made within 24 hours of the originally scheduled exam time.  While each test covers primarily the course material for the two or three weeks prior to the test, test questions may come from any previously covered material (i.e., each test could be considered cumulative).

Final Exam

The final exam (administered during final exam week) is worth 350 points.


The final course grade percentage is reduced by 4% for each unexcused absence after the third unexcused absence; an absence is considered to be excused when the instructor accepts an email from the student explaining the reason for the absence.  It is the student’s responsibility to find out what was missed in class and keep up with the coursework.  Students can get a copy of class notes from the instructor, from a tutor, or from a classmate.  A student with more than 10 unexcused absences automatically fails the course.

There is a total of A total of somewhere between 1400 and 1500 possible points that can be earned.  The final course grade percentage is the percentage of points earned out of the total number of points that can be earned.  The final course letter grade is determined from the following:


                                                  A = above 93.33%           A– = 90% to 93.33%


B+ = 86.67% to 90%                 B = 83.33% to 86.67%              B– = 80% to 83.33%


C+ = 76.67% to 80%                 C = 73.33% to 76.67%              C– = 70% to 73.33%


D+ = 66.67% to 70%                 D = 63.33% to 66.67%              D– = 60% to 63.33%


                                                  F = below 60%



Course Links

Course Schedule

Free Tutoring

Some Well-Known Sums and Series

A Useful Trigonometry Review

Using SPSS for Windows

Selecting the Proper Statistical Procedures



Tips for Success in This Course

(1) Keep up with the homework - understanding every homework assignment as completely as you can is the key to grasping the course material.  Even though there will be some homework assignments that you may not be required to submit, do them anyway, since they will help you master the material.  Check all your homework answers with a tutor before submitting an assignment.

(2) As part of your preparation for exams, do all suggested “Exercises for Practice” listed on the course schedule; these were not assigned for homework submission and have the answers in the back of the textbook - start working on these about a week before the exam date; don't wait for the night before the exam.

(3) Get your questions answered quickly by the tutor, the course instructor, or a classmate.

(4) Keep your binder up-to-date and well-organized, since you are allowed to use the binder for exams.



General Standards and Policies

          All work submitted must be of professional quality.  All paper must be neat, without ragged edges, rips, tears, smudges, stains, etc.  All answers must be clear, complete, and concise; handwriting must be legible.  If the instructor can't read it, it's wrong.  Assignments may be down-graded if these standards are not met.

          It can be very helpful for some students to work together on daily assignments and to study together; this is encouraged when it does not result in one student simply copying another's work with no understanding.  Acts of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of F for the course, and a letter to the Dean describing the circumstances.  If you are having problems in the course, talk to the instructor; don't involve yourself in academic dishonesty. With each assignment submitted, students are expected to write a short note at the end of the assignment indicating from whom help was received and to whom help was given (but this does not affect the grade for the assignment).  The following is from the FACULTY HANDBOOK in the section titled Student Course Load:


"It is expected that students will spend, in preparation for courses, two hours of study time outside the classroom for every hour of credit in the classroom."


This means that you should be prepared to spend, on average, eight hours per week outside of class working on a four-credit course; however, this will vary from student to student and from course to course.  Your time will be spent reading the text, reviewing class notes, and completing homework exercises.


If you encounter a problem while working on assignments, do not spend more than 20 or 30 minutes trying to solve the problem; if you cannot solve a problem in 20 or 30 minutes, even with the help of a tutor or classmate, work on something else and show the problem to the instructor of the course as soon as possible.