Mathematics 20: Discrete Probability

Spring Term, 2001 Syllabus

Instructor: Thomas F. Bickel

Class hours: MWF 11:15 to 12:20; x-period Tuesday 12 to 12:50. You are required to keep the x-period free; it may be used on occasion. I will try to give notice a few days in advance.

Office: 412 Bradley: office hours Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3 p.m., and by arrangement. I also take questions by BlitzMail; I read it regularly during week days from 8 am to 5 pm, rarely evenings, usually once or twice each weekend. It will help me if you include the phrase Math 20 in the subject line (i.e. Math 20 question).

Textbook: Introduction to Probability by J. Laurie Snell and Charles Grinstead (Second Revised Edition, 1997, American Mathematical Society); available at the bookstores. It may also be downloaded from the Web—see the course home page. We will cover most of the book, with greatest emphasis on the sections labeled "discrete"; however, we will do enough in the "continuous" sections to give a feeling for this aspect of probability.

Exams: Two hour exams, Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday May 16, in class. A final exam covering all material of the course will be scheduled later.

Class Web page: At the URL of <> is a Web page for this class. Homework assignments will be listed there shortly after each class period, plus additional key information such as sections to be covered on the hour exams shortly before each exam. You can also use this page to access the on-line version of the textbook, as well as the Chance project home page.

Homework: Assigned daily, due at the beginning of the next class period. Turn in homework in the box labelled Math 20 Homework on the windowsill just across the hall from 103 Bradley. Each assignment will be graded on a basis of 2 points for essentially all correct work, 1 point for work that is mostly complete but may have some errors, 0 for work that is turned in but not very good. The homework score will only be used in the final grade in case of someone right on the borderline between grades. No work will be graded that is more than one class period late.

Course grade: Will be based on the hour exams (30% each) and the final exam (40%).

Honor principle: You may discuss the homework with one another. However, in each assignment turned in you must have done the majority of the actual mathematical work, and all of the write-up, independently. Obviously no collaboration is allowed on the exams.

Special needs: Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak to me by the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Disabilities Coordinator my be consulted to verify the documentation of the disability.

Return to Math 20 home page.