STAT 493: Workshop in Statistics

Spring 2005

SYLLABUS and other useful information

Instructor:  Philip Dixon
Email: through Web-CT for course related questions

120 Snedecor Hall
Ames IA 50011-1210


Office Hours:

No set times. Feel free to e-mail anytime. If you want to chat with me (in person or over the phone), please e-mail first to make sure I'll be around my office.
Contacting me Please feel free to e-mail via webCT anytime with questions or comments. I often check e-mail in the evening.


Freund, R.J. and Wilson, W.J. 2002. Statistical Methods, Second Edition. Academic Press.


1) Understand variation and its consequences for drawing conclusions from data. 

2) Be familiar with some statistical methods for survey and experimental data
       when and how to use common methods.
       how to interpret statistical results.

Grading: Homework: 125 pts  (five assignments throughout the semester)
Takehome Final: 75 pts 


Need for statistics
    Data with variability
Describing data, Numerical and Graphical summaries
Surveys: Design and Analysis
Analysis of Data from Experiments:
    How precise is the mean?
    t-tests for difference between two means
    Regression: simple and multiple linear
    ANOVA to compare multiple groups
    Yes/no responses: Contingency tables, Chi-square tests
Course materials Factual information for this course comes from three sources: The class web pages, the textbook, and supplemental web resources. 

The class web pages attempt to provide organization, concepts, and a sense of priority. What materials are really important, what concepts are useful, and what details can be safely ignored?
The textbook provides the bulk of the factual material for the course. All the formula that you will need are here. 
The supplemental web resources provide additional information about surveys (where the book is weak) and demonstrations of statistical concepts.

Homework and 
self tests:

Statistics is best learnt by doing. It is like learning tennis or golf. The instructor may provide useful tips and insights, but you need to practice to learn. The self tests and the homework provide the practice for learning statistics. 

Self tests are scattered throughout the web pages. These are not graded. They are for you to see whether you can apply concepts.

There are five homework assignments thoughout the semester. Due dates will be approximately every three weeks. Exact dates for each assignment will be announced by e-mail and posted on the course calendar. Homework due dates will be set so that you have sufficient time to work through all the relevant material then have time for the homework. Homework can be submitted by e-mail or mailed to Dr. Dixon. Graded HW will be returned with the correct answers.

Late Homework: Late homework will be accepted, but the penalty will be 1 point deducted per day late.
A web based course provides you a lot of flexibility in your schedule. I encourage you to work steadily through the course. The homework due dates reinforce this.

Final exam

The exam will test whether you can apply statistical concepts and methods. It will be open note and open book. It will be distributed near the end of the semester and due approximately a week later.

Getting ahead:

You may work ahead of the homework schedule if you wish. We will try to return 'early' homework promptly but can not commit to doing this. The final will not be distributed early, unless you have some unusual circumstance. Please contact Dr. Dixon if you have any questions about this or want to request an early final.


This class focuses on statistical concepts, not details of a specific computing package.
I will use EXCEL for the computations. This is not a great statistical package, but it is widely available and free if you already have Microsoft Office. EXCEL provides simple statistical tools and no data management capacity. There are add on packages that provide additional or more complete analyses. You are not required to purchase any add on. You are free to use whatever you are most comfortable using.
Disability Accomodation: Iowa State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sect 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please contact Philip Dixon within the first two weeks of the semester. Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored. Before meeting with me, you need to obtain a SAAR form with recommendations for accommodations from the Disability Resources Office, Room 1076, Student Services Building. Their telephone number is 515-294-6624.
I encourage questions and comments. I check my webCT e-mail at least once a day.