STA 201F: Why Numbers Matter (Fall, 2014)

This course teaches non-science students the importance of quantitative reasoning to many different areas. It explores a variety of applications to such diverse subjects as economics, gambling, politics, poetry, graphics, music, medicine, demographics, sports, secret codes, and more, using only basic high school level mathematics combined with logical thinking.

Instructor: Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal, Department of Statistics, University of Toronto. Sidney Smith Hall, room 5016B; phone 416-978-4594;; 'jeff' at ''

Time and Location: Mondays 2:10 - 3:00 and Wednesdays 1:10 - 3:00 in LM 161. First class Sept 8. Last class Dec 1. No class Oct 13 (Thanksgiving) nor Nov 17 (Fall Break). Final exam Tues December 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Exclusion: This course is not open to first-year students, nor to students enrolled in any science Major or Specialist program.

12% iClicker class participation (thoughout the term);
22% Term test #1 (on Oct 15 during class time, in EX room 300);
22% Term test #2 (on Nov 12 during class time, in EX room 300);
44% Final exam (Tues Dec 16 at 9:00 a.m., in the William Doo Auditorium at 45 Willcocks Street).

Note: Students should obtain an iClicker device, available for purchase from the University of Toronto bookstore [unless they select the alternative grading option], and bring it to every class. Then, by Monday Sept 22, they should register it online by following the instructions given in class.

Textbook: None. The course instructor will post summary lecture notes on the course's Blackboard page -- but they are not a substitute for attending and actively learning from the course lectures. Students wanting additional background reading can optionally consult the instructor's somewhat-related book Struck by Lightning.

More Information: See the course's Blackboard web page.

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