Statistics 401
Experimental Methods I
Spring 2000

General Information

The final exam, with solutions, is available in postscript or pdf format.
General Information - Daily Schedule - HW Assignments - HW and Quiz Solutions

Dr. Akritas has made his lecture notes available online.
Information on the team project is also posted.
A set of daily problems is available.

SectionScheduleInstructor Office Hours
001MWF 9:05-9:55 AM
260 Willard
Dr. Michael Akritas,
414 Thomas Building, 865-3631,
Tues 2:45-3:45 PM
Thurs 3:45-4:45 PM
or by appointment
002MWF 12:20-1:10 PM
358 Willard
Dr. David Hunter,
310 Thomas Building, 863-0979,
Tues 10:00-11:00 AM
Thurs 2:30-3:30 PM
or by appointment
003MWF 8:00-8:55 AM
117 Thomas
Mr. Hakan Demirtas,
330B Thomas Building, 863-0692,
MWF 9:00-10:00 AM
or by appointment

ASSISTANTS: (Common to all 3 Sections)
Mr. B. Froloshki, 301 Thomas Building, 863-2314,
OFFICE HOURS: Thurs. 9:30-12:30
Mr. S. Jiang, 333 Thomas Building, 863-3374,
OFFICE HOURS: M,W 12:00-1:00
Ms. A. Yajima, 418 Thomas Building, 865-3230,
OFFICE HOURS: T,Th 10:00-11:30

REQUIRED TEXT: Devore, Jay L. (2000). Probability and Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences. Fifth edition. Brooks/Cole.

MINITAB Handbook, 1994, by Ryan and Joiner, 3rd Edition, Duxbury
MINITAB Reference Manual, 1992, Release 9
MINITAB Quality Control Manual, 1992, Release 9
MINITAB Graphics Manual, 1992, Release 9

CHAPTERS AND SECTIONS COVERED: Chapters 1-9, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, 11.2, 12, part of 15, and part of 16 of Devore. A detailed outline is attached.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: To familiarize students with the basic concepts and ideas of statistics and probability. To provide training in the use of statistical methods and graphics for the analysis and presentation of data encountered in engineering.

SUMMARY OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Requirements for the course include up to ten (but most likely about six) in-class quizzes, homework (including computer projects), a team project, and a final exam:

  Set Due Percent
Quizzes Fridays or Mondays 40%
Homework Friday following Friday 30%
Team Project March 3 April 28 10%
Final Exam To Be Announced 20%

QUIZZES: Up to ten (10) quizzes will be given on Fridays or on Mondays during the last 25 minutes of class time. The quizzes will cover material from the homework (or notes from sections covered by that homework) that was collected on the most recent Friday and returned on Monday. Because there are only 15 weeks in the semester, you should be prepared for a quiz every Friday (even if there is not one, since they are not announced in advance). In a week in which there is no quiz given on Friday, there may (or may not) be a quiz given on the following Monday. There will be no make-up quizzes for those who miss one, instead a zero grade will assigned. The quiz with the lowest score (including zero) will be dropped. (Depending on the number of quizzes given, we might consider dropping two.) As a consequence, there will be no penalty for missing one, or possibly two, quizzes (except for the fact that you forgo the privilege of dropping the lowest non-zero score(s)).

COMPUTING ASSIGNMENTS, USING MINITAB: To use the personal computers on campus, you must obtain an Access Account. Students who are registered for one or more credits are automatically assigned an Access Account. To request activation of the account, students must present a Penn State photo ID to CAC staff at 12 Willard Building, 215 Computer Building, 230 Computer Building or any CAC lab in which a lab attendant is on duty. Normally the account is ready within 24 hours. Minitab will be an integral part of the homework during the later part of the course. The windows PC version of Minitab has the best features and its use is encouraged.

For personal use, a student may purchase a copy of Minitab through the University Micro Computer Center in 12 Willard Bldg for about $80. It is a useful software package even for work outside this course. Alternatively, a temporary Minitab license which expires on August 31, 2000 is available from for $26.

TEAM PROJECT: You are asked to assemble in teams of 3-5 students to study and present an application of statistics to engineering in adequate detail. The recommended source for finding such applications are the various engineering journals. (As you may know some engineering classes assign data analysis projects. It is not acceptable to reproduce a data analysis project assigned in another class for your team project.) Your final report should list the data, the reference (source of the data), and include data analysis and graphics (using Minitab) as appropriate. The report should not exceed 7 typed pages.

HOMEWORK: Weekly homework will be assigned in class on Fridays according to the attached schedule, and will typically comprise 6-10 problems from Devore and/or MINITAB exercises. These homework problems will then be due the following Friday in class. Homework assignments can also be obtained through the Stat 401 World Wide Web (WWW) Homepage (see below). Solutions for all homeworks can be found: a) posted on the third floor notice board in Thomas Building, b) on reserve in the Math Library in McAllister Building (above the post office), and c) on the Stat 401 WWW Homepage.

Up to two problems, selected at random, will be graded in detail, on a scale of 0-10 each. Every other problem that was worked out will get 5 points (whether done correctly or not). To obtain this credit, problems must be handed in in the same order as the order they are assigned.

There will be a 20% penalty for homework not handed in during class, provided that it does not get lost and provided it is turned in before Noon on the following day. No credit will be given for homework handed in after Noon on the following day.

Homework will usually be available to be picked up by the Monday class period. We will place homework that is not picked up in class in the Meeting Room, 332 Thomas Building. After 2 weeks in Room 332, the homework will be discarded.

FINAL EXAM The final exam will be comprehensive. Because of this it will be an open book and open note format.

INFORMATION THROUGH NETSCAPE Netscape is an Internet browser program which is installed on the IBM PC computers in the CAC's public computer labs. Netscape lets you access a wide variety of Internet services (ftp, gopher, audio files, etc.) without having to know the individual syntax for dealing with each type. In other words, you have one interface, Netscape, for all of these services, and access the services by clicking on hypertext links highlighted in underlined blue text. The World Wide Web is a collection of computers which are accessible by client programs such as Netscape. The name of the Statistics Department's World Wide Web server is Do not forget to logout when leaving.

In order to access the Stat 401 World Wide Web Homepage do the following:

* Go to a CAC public computer lab which has IBM PCs that run Microsoft Windows

* Login to your Access Account.

* Open the Internet Applications folder and double-click on the Netscape icon, then click on Accept (if it prompts you to do so).

* You will see a ``Location'' dialog box under the contol buttons at the top of the browser. Highlight the text ``'' and hit the delete or back space key. Then enter the following URL in the box and hit the return key:

GRADES (tentative plan): 90-100 = A, 80-89.9 = B, 70-79.9 = C, 60-69.9 = D,
0-59.9 = F.

SICKNESS AND COMPASSIONATE WAIVERS: As described under Quizzes and Homework.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: The University policy on academic integrity, covering cheating, plagiarizing, and other acts of academic dishonesty, given in Section 49-20 of the Student Guide on Policies and Rules of the University, will be adhered to in this course.

COURSE OUTLINE: Please read ahead in Devore to prepare for each class, taking careful note of the attached outline, which we will follow closely.

Last modified: May 2, 2000