PMU 199H, L0412: PROBABILITIES EVERYWHERE (Fall 2018)
This course examines the meaning and mathematics of probabilities, and
how they arise in our everyday lives. Specific topics may include: the
nature of coincidences, the concept of luck, games involving dice and
cards, long run averages in casinos, margins of error in polls, the
interpretation of medical studies, crime statistics, decision making,
pseudorandomness, and Monte Carlo algorithms.
To succeed in this course, it is necessary to actively participate in
class discussions, and enthusiastically consider a variety of logical,
mathematical, and societal issues from a variety of perspectives.
Prerequisite: At least one grade 12 mathematics course
(or the equivalent from another country).
Time: Wednesdays, 2-4.
First class Sept 12, last class Dec 5, no class Nov 7 (Reading Week).
Location: Sidney Smith Hall (SS), room 2120.
On Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything,
now available at the U of T Bookstore and
(or kindle edition)
and University College Library
and Toronto Public Libraries.
Course Web Page:
Professor Jeffrey S. Rosenthal,
Department of Statistics, University of Toronto.
Sidney Smith Hall, room 5022; phone 416-978-4594;
20% Class attendance / punctuality / preparation / attention
30% Participation in class activities and discussions
25% Homework assignments
25% Final essay
- Classes will involve both
student cooperative work in small groups, and whole-class
- Students are expected to punctually attend class each week, to
enthusiastically participate in discussions and activities during
class time, and to conscientiously keep up with readings and other
(small) weekly homework. It is crucial to have
and be punctual,
to show interest and enthusiasm in class activities,
and to speak up often
and listen carefully to others
during whole-class discussions.
- Weekly homework will often involve reading from the textbook
or other source,
and answering various questions about what you have read.
For assistance with writing and studying
skills, see the resources on the web page
Writing at the University of
Toronto and the Writing
and also ELL
and Accessibility Services
and Academic Success
and How Not To Plagiarize,
and also the U of T Library,
This document is available at probability.ca/pmu199, or
permanently at probability.ca/jeff/teaching/1819/pmu199/