STA198F: PROBABILITIES EVERYWHERE (Fall 2019)
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 11, last class Dec 4, no class Nov 6 (Reading Week).
Location: Innis College (IN), room 313.
Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities
(available at the bookstore).
To be handed out as needed.
(Somewhat based on the book's
Course Web Page:
Professor of Statistics, University of Toronto.
Office: Sidney Smith Hall (SS), room 5022.
15% Class attendance / punctuality / preparation / attention
20% Homework assignments
35% Participation in class activities and discussions
30% Final essay
(Email by Nov 25, discuss on Nov 27, due Dec 4)
- Classes will involve both
student cooperative work in small groups, and whole-class
- Students are expected to punctually attend class each week, to
put away cell phones and laptops (except when expressly
required for class activities) and
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.
It is even better if you can also find additional
information beyond the assigned reading.
For assistance with writing and studying and life
skills, see the resources on the web page
Writing at the University of
Toronto and the Writing
and also ELL
and Accessibility Services
and How Not To Plagiarize,
and also the U of T Library
and also Academic Success
and the Health and
This document is available at probability.ca/sta198, or
permanently at probability.ca/jeff/teaching/1920/sta198/