Math 121 - Spring 2020

Basic Info

Course Description

Math 121 will cover chapters 1-24, on representing and summarizing data, regression, sampling, probability, and statistical inference.

Attendance Policy

Attendance in this class is required. Repeated absences may result in a forced withdrawal from the course. You are responsible for any material you miss due to absence. Please let me know ahead of time if you know that you will not be able to attend class.

Classroom Policy

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

Grading Policy

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

Component     Proportion    
Presentations     5%
Quizzes     20%
Midterm 1 15%
Midterm 2 15%
Midterm 3 15%
Final Exam 30%


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.

Homework & Quizzes

I will assign problems to work on in-class during workshops and after-class as homework. You are expected to complete all problems assigned. I will not collect your work however. Every Friday, there will be a short quiz based on the homework and classwork from that week. During the quiz, you may use your homework and notes, but you may not use your textbook. Like the exams, you may use a scientific or graphic calculator. There are no make-up quizzes due to absence. If you know that you will miss a quiz, please let me know in advance. Because there are no make-up quizzes, the lowest quiz grade will be dropped from your quiz average.

The best thing you can do to succeed in this class is to make sure that you keep up with and understand the homework problems each week. Here is a little advice on how to get the most credit out of your homework, with the least work.

  1. Read twice. The questions in the textbook are wordy. Read each question twice before you try to answer. Make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking. If you don’t, then ask me in class or during my office hours.

  2. Keep it simple. I don’t want long essay answers. I want you to write a short answer that mentions the key concept. I’m usually looking for one or two keywords, not for a detailed exposition. If you can figure out the keyword or concept that applies, then just write a short one or two sentence answer to explain how it fits.

  3. Double check. After you think you have an answer, re-read the question again. Make sure that your answer actually answers the question that is being asked.

  4. Don’t get stuck. If you spend more than 5 minutes without knowing how to approach a problem, then move on. Circle the question you don’t understand and ask me or one of the statistics tutors about it later. Don’t waste your time being stuck.


During Thursday classes, I will ask groups of students to present problems from the homework and/or the in-class workshops. The dates that you will present will be assigned early in the semester. If you cannot present on your assigned date, let me know at least one week before so that we can arrange to swap presentation days with another student.

Presentations will be graded on a simple two point scale:

Special Accommodations

In compliance with the Hampden-Sydney College policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be recommended for students with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made at the beginning of the semester (except for unusual circumstances) so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Students are required to contact the Office of Academic Success in order to verify their eligibility for appropriate accommodations.