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MATH / STAT 414: INTRODUCTION TO PROBABILITY THEORY

2019: 6 WEEK SUMMER SESSION


Prerequisites: Math 230 or 231, elementary calculus

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Math / Stat 414 uncovers the mathematical machinery behind core probabilistic concepts and properties. The main
topics we will discuss are
• Combinatorial analysis
• Axioms of Probability
• Conditional Probability and Independence
• Random Variables
• Continuous Random Variables
• Jointly Distributed Random Variables
• Properties of Expectation
• Limit Theorems

COURSE GOALS:
• Students will demonstrate understanding of concepts from probability theory related to the above list, and
successfully apply them to solve a variety of problems.

INSTRUCTOR:
• Name and office: Yujie Liao, 301 Thomas Building
• Office Hours: By appointment
• Email: yxl629@psu.edu
TEACHING ASSISTANT:
• Name and office: Huy Dang, 301 Thomas Building
• Office Hours: Tue/Thu 9:55-10:55am
• Email: hqd1@psu.edu
ROOM AND TIMES:
• Monday thru Friday: 160 Willard Building, 2:20-3:35 pm

REQUIRED MATERIALS:
• Textbook: A First Course in Probability, 9th edition, by Sheldon Ross
WEBSITE (Canvas):
• Course Syllabus
• Homework, Study Guides
• Solutions to Homework, Study Guides, Quizzes and Exams
• Announcements and email correspondence (check Canvas Mail daily).

METHODS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING:


Instruction will take the form of chalk board based lecture combined with occasional lecture slides on the overhead
projector. At times there may be short breaks for problem-based learning, discussions and question periods. In
class questions are encouraged. Remember – if you have a question, then the chances are good that someone else in
the class does too.
SUMMARY OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
Requirement Number Total Percent of Grade
Midterm Exams 2 40%
Quizzes 3 10%
Homeworks 12 (keep best 10) 20%
Final Exam 1 30%

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:


• Midterm Exams (2)
During class on July 9 and July 24.
Cumulative, but focused on material covered since the previous exam.
A mix of multiple choice and short answer problems
Exams are closed book. Calculators and one or two pages of handwritten notes will be allowed. Number of
pages allowed will be announced prior to exams.
• Homework: (Best 10 out of 12)
Must be submitted at beginning of class. Multiple pages must be stapled for full credit. Late work is not
accepted for credit. Problems are assigned from the textbook. Occasionally problems may be added in
class or on Canvas. Homework are graded based on completeness and accuracy. Collaboration is
encouraged, however each student must turn in his or her own work.
• Quizzes
In class on July 2, July 17, and August 1. To be completed after 50 to 55 minutes of lecture.

MAKE-UP POLICY:
In general, no make-ups will be allowed for homework because there are two opportunities for missed assignments
without any effect on your grade. If you have a university approved excuse, sickness, or religious conflict, you
must provide appropriate documentation and contact me in person or via email prior to the exam or quiz. If you
contact me after the exam or quiz you will not get a positive response.

GRADE CUTOFFS:
In order to be guaranteed a specific final grade, you must achieve the following minimum percentiles:

Final Grade Percentage Needed


A 93%
A- 90%
B+ 87%
B 82%
B- 80%
C+ 75%
C 70%
D 60%

OTHER COURSE POLICIES:


• Class attendance is not mandatory, however this course moves incredibly quick and notes are not provided.
Students must be in class to take notes, or must get notes from classmates if they miss a day.

Our classroom is an environment of focused learning, free of unnecessary distractions. To this end:
• Do not pack your bags before class is over. We have a contract – I don't keep you over time, and you don't
try to leave early.
• Although tardiness is strongly discouraged, if you arrive late please enter as quietly as possible and take the
seat nearest to the entrance.
• Cell phones must be on silent or powered off during lecture and exams.
• No laptops or screens allowed if they distract your classmates – tablets are acceptable if they are kept flat
on your desk for the most part.
• Drink coffee if you need to... but stay awake during class!

COURSE AGREEMENT:
This syllabus serves as an agreement that begins on the first day of class & ends upon completion of the final exam.

With this course, you are responsible for:


• anything discussed in class & posted on the CANVAS website
• coming to the class prepared to learn & finding enough time to make the appropriate commitment
• seeking appropriate and timely help if having problems
• following course policy which states that:
1. final grades will not be changed for purposes of maintaining financial aid and/or academic progress
or entrance into an academic program etc.
2. all exams and quizzes must be taken during the scheduled time unless accommodations are arranged
in advance.
• accepting that grades will be based on understanding of material (not just on attendance).

PENN STATE PRINCIPLES: SHOULD FOLLOW WHILE AT PENN STATE


• I will respect the dignity of all individuals within the Penn State Community
• I will practice academic integrity
• I will demonstrate social and personal responsibility
• I will be responsible for my own academic progress and agree to comply with all University policies

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:
Academic integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or
deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the Penn State community and
compromise the worth of work completed by others. This course will follow the guidelines found under Academic
Integrity (Section 49-20) of the University Faculty Senate Policies for Students.

THE PENN STATE HONOR CODE:


“A good name is earned by fair play, square dealing and good sportsmanship in the classroom, on the athletic field
and in all other college relations. We earnestly desire that this spirit may become a tradition at Penn State.”

DISABILITY POLICY:
It is Penn State's policy to not discriminate against qualified students with documented disabilities in its educational
programs. If you have a disability-related need for modifications in the course, contact both the instructor and the
Office for Disability Services (116 Boucke) at the beginning of the semester.

This syllabus is subject to change. Any changes shall be distributed to students in writing through the CANVAS
course management system.