Math 121 - Fall 2022

Basic Info


Course Description

Math 121 will cover most of chapters 1-8 in OpenIntro Stats, on representing and summarizing data, sampling, probability, statistical inference, and linear regression.


Date Section Topic Projects
08/22 1.2 Data basics
08/24 2.1 Examining numerical data
08/26 2.1 Box plots
08/29 2.1 Variance and standard deviation
08/31 4.1 Normal distribution
09/02 4.1 68-95-99.7 rule
09/05 2.1, 8.1 Scatterplots and correlation
09/07 8.2 Least squares regression
09/09 2.2 Contingency tables
09/12 2.2 Contingency tables - con’d
09/14 1.3 Sampling principles and strategies
09/16 1.3 Populations and samples
09/19 1.4 Experiments
09/21 Midterm 1
09/23 3.1 Defining probability
09/26 3.1 Multiplication and addition rules
09/28 3.2 Conditional probability
09/30 3.2 Tree diagrams and Bayes’ rule
10/03 No class - Fall break
10/05 3.4 Weighted averages
10/07 3.4 Random variables
10/10 5.1 Sampling distributions
10/12 4.3 Binomial distribution
10/14 5.1 Central limit theorem
10/17 5.2 Confidence intervals for a proportion
10/19 Midterm 2
10/21 5.3 Hypothesis testing for a proportion
10/24 5.3 Decision errors
10/26 6.1 Inference for a single proportion
10/28 6.2 Difference of two proportions
10/31 6.2 Difference of two proportions - con’d
11/02 7.1 Introducing the t-distribution Project 1
11/04 7.1 One sample t-tests
11/07 7.3 Difference of two means
11/09 7.3 Difference of two means - con’d Project 2
11/11 7.2 Paired data
11/14 Choosing the right inference method
11/16 Midterm 3 Project 3
11/18 7.4 Power calculations
11/21 8.4 Inference about regression
11/23 No class - Thanksgiving break Project 4
11/25 No class - Thanksgiving break
11/28 6.3 The chi-square test statistic
11/30 6.3 Testing for goodness of fit using chi-square
12/02 6.4 Testing for independence in two-way tables

Attendance Policy

In order to master a subject like statistics, regular attendance is crucial. However, if you have a fever or are not feeling well, then please do not come to class that day. As long as you let me know the reason for your absence, I will do my best to help you stay caught up and make up any material that you missed. The key is to communicate with me when you aren’t able to attend class.

Classroom Policy

Tobacco products (including chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes) are not allowed in class.

Office Hours

My office hours are shown on my weekly schedule. I am also available by appointment. If you can’t stop by during my regular office hours, just ask me after class or by e-mail, and I’ll be happy to make an appointment that works for both of us.

Grading Policy

The term grade will be based on the results of the examinations and homework.

Component     Proportion    
Quizzes 30%
Projects 20%
Midterm 1 10%
Midterm 2 10%
Midterm 3 10%
Final Exam 20%

In-Class Problems

There is a saying that, “you learn math by doing math.” This is very true! During most class periods you will be asked to solve problems as part of an in-class workshop. Any problems you do not complete during class become homework problems. I do not collect the workshops. Instead, you may use your completed workshops during the weekly quizzes.


Every Thursday (except when midterm exams are scheduled) there will be a 10-15 minute quiz on material covered that week. Each quiz will have 3 or 4 problems and will cover material similar to the in-class and take-home problems. During quizzes you are allowed to use your notes and solutions to old class workshop problems. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped from the final average.


There will be three in-class midterm exams and a cumulative final. The exams will be closed book. You are allowed to use a scientific or graphing calculator during the exams. You may also use your cellphone as a calculator, but you may not use your phone for any other purpose during exams.


There will be four homework projects at the end of the semester. These projects will require you to analyze real world data, make graphs, carry out relevant statistical tests, and explain your conclusions. The projects must by typed using a computer and you can e-mail them to me when they are due. If you wish, you may work with a partner on the project. If you do work with a partner then you can both submit one file together, just be sure that both of your names are clearly listed on the file that you submit. Aside from work with your partner, all work should be your own. Each project will be graded holistically using the following rubric:

The dates listed for the projects on the schedule above are when the projects will be assigned, not when they are due. You will have at least 3 days from when a project is assigned until it will be due.

Special Accommodations

Students who think they may need accommodations in this course because of the impact of a disability are encouraged to meet with me privately at the beginning of the semester. Students also should contact Melissa Wood, Title IX/504 Coordinator (, 434-223-6061) to verify their eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Early contact will help to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and delays.

Virtual Learning Plan

If we need to switch to an online virtual course at any point during the semester, the basic outline and schedule of topics for the course will remain the same. I will provide asynchronous video guided notes and workshops to help learn the material. I will also divide the class into smaller groups and schedule Zoom meetings during our regular class time where we can go over the material in more detail. I may also incorporate a short oral examination as part of one or more of the midterm or final exams. If you know that you will have trouble with Zoom from home, please let me know.