Times and Places


Teaching Assistants



This class has no textbook. All of the course material is on the course slides or handouts at this web site.

For those who feel the need of an actual textbook, the textbook for the other section of this course is Probability and Statistics by Degroot and Schervish. The current edition is the 4th, but any edition will do as well. For that matter, many competing textbooks would do as well. The course does not follow exactly any particular textbook.

Somewhat more relevant, but not required either are some old course notes from years ago.

About the Course

Don't Get Lost

Ask questions in class. If something isn't clear to you, it probably isn't clear to others either. Most questions arise because the instructor hasn't made a connection clear or has inadvertently left out an important point. Your question gives the instructor a chance to explain more clearly.

If you have difficulty with problems, ask for help from the instructor or a TA. Don't wait until just before the exam (or worse just after) to ask for help. By then it may be too late.


The material covered by the exams will stated in class and in announcements on the course home page.

The first midterm covers homeworks 1–4 and the corresponding lecture material. The second midterm covers homeworks 5–8 and the corresponding lecture material. The final exam is cumulative and covers everything.

You will be permitted to bring one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper with formulas or other notes on both sides to each midterm exam and use it to look up formulas. For the final exam you may bring three such 8 1/2 by 11 sheets.

You will be permitted to use the brand name distributions handout and the Greek letters handout.

You are not permitted to use any other notes, including any other course materials.

You may use a calculator, but shouldn't need one for most problems.

Missed Exams

University policy is that midterm and final exams can be made up for legitimate absences, such as verified illness, participation in other University-sponsored activities, jury duty, military service, religious observances. If you must miss an exam, make arrangements in advance. Talk to the instructor before or after class or during office hours to make arrangements. If you find you will miss an exam without having made arrangements, call the instructor (612-625-8511) or, if he is not in, call the department office (612-625-8046) and leave a message. Do this before the time of the exam.


University and department policy is that "I" grades are used only when there is a small amount of unfinished work that the student can complete on his or her own before the end of the following semester, when there was a legitimate excuse why the work could not be done on time, and when arrangements have been made with the instructor as to when the work will be done. "I" grades are not given when there is a large amount of work undone and the student would need to attend the class in the next semester to learn the material.


Homework assignments will be assigned in class and on the homework assignments web page.

Homework will be accepted late without penalty until 4:30 on the day it is due.

Homework should be handed in person to the instructor, either in class or in 356 Ford Hall. Problems have arisen before with homeworks reportedly being put in the mailboxes of the TA or the instructor and going missing. These mailboxes are not secure. Do not put homework in mailboxes. Instead shove it under the instructor's door (356 Ford Hall) if he is not there.

Homework may be handed in late without penalty if there is a valid excuse and an arrangement has been made with the instructor in advance. Otherwise, there will be a 30% penalty for late homework up to two weeks late. Homework will not be accepted more than two weeks late or after the final exam.

Working together in groups on homework is permitted, even encouraged, but each student must do his or her own write-up of the solutions and fully understand them. Talking about problems with other people does help in learning, but just getting solutions doesn't.

A word to the wise: The homework altogether counts 20% of the grade. Not doing homework will hurt your grade.

Office Hours

They are there for your benefit. If you are having difficulty, please come see the teaching assistant or instructor or both during office hours to get help. If you cannot come to the regularly scheduled office hours, make arrangements after the lecture or lab to see us some other time. Or you can just phone and see if we are available.


Midterms 40% (20% each), Final 40%, Homework 20%

Graduate students are graded on a basis entirely separate from undergraduate and non-degree students.

Everything counts. Nothing is dropped. There is no extra credit.

It Isn't Over Until It's Over

There is a natural tendency to slack off after the second midterm, especially if you are doing well up to that point. Please, don't give in to it. About half the final exam covers material that is new since the second midterm. If you don't keep working hard the last few weeks, it can really hurt your grade. It seems to happen to several people every semester. Don't let it happen to you.

Disabled Students

The following statement is required by the University on all syllabuses.

The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

Additional information is available on the DRC website: https://diversity.umn.edu/disability/

Student Mental Health and Stress Management

The following statement is required by the University on all syllabuses.

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via http://www.mentalhealth.umn.edu/.

Academic Honesty and Dishonesty

The following statement is required by the School of Statistics on all syllabuses.

The following definition of student academic integrity and scholastic dishonesty is slightly modified from the webpage of the University's Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, http://www.oscai.umn.edu:

Scholastic dishonesty means plagiarizing; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; submitting false or incomplete records of academic achievement; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data, research procedures, or data analysis.

All School of Statistics teaching faculty are instructed to refer students who violate the policy for academic honesty and dishonesty to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. A student responsible for scholastic dishonesty can in addition be assigned a penalty up to and including an F or N for the course.