Math 121 Syllabus - Spring 2012

Dr. Robb T. Koether
Office: Bagby 114
Office phone: 223-6207
Home phone: 392-8604 (before 11:00 p.m.)
Office hours: 2:30 - 4:00 MTWR; other hours by appointment.
Web page:
Interactive Statistics


The class meets in Bagby 022 at 12:30 - 1:20 MWF and in Bagby 111 at 12:30 - 1:20 on Tuesdays.

The text for the course is Interactive Statistics, 3rd ed., by Martha Aliaga and Brenda Gunderson.

The web page for this course is at


There will be weekly quizzes, three tests, and a final exam. In the final average, these will have the following weights:

Category Weight
Average of HW or quizzes 30%
Average of the tests 50%
The final exam 20%


It is very important to keep up with the homework. As you do the homework, make an effort to memorize the formulas and the procedures. It is much easier and more effective to memorize a little at a time than a lot at once. What you learn on one homework assignment will be reinforced on later homework assignments.

When doing the homework, make full use of the available resources:

I strongly recommend that you do the homework as soon as possible after class, perhaps during the following period, while the day's lesson is still fresh. I am generally available until 5:00 pm each day. The tutors are generally available in Bagby 111 from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday. Do not wait until all of your helpers are off duty to begin your assignments.

More importantly, do not put off doing the homework until the night before the quiz. You will not be able to learn that much material in one night and you will not have time to develop your problem-solving skills. Most importantly of all, do not put off doing the homework until the day before a test. By then it is too late to learn it.

At the beginning of each class meeting (except Tuesdays), I will spend up to 10 minutes working one or two homework problems in detail from previous assignments. You may request a problem that you would like to see worked. Of course, outside of class, I will help you with as many problems as I can.

Quizzes (30%)

There will be weekly quizzes. Each quiz will be given on a Tuesday during the first 10 minutes of class. It will consist of one or more questions taken verbatim from the previous week's homework assignments.

No make-up quizzes will be given. If you anticipate missing a quiz, then you may take the quiz early, but you may not take it after the class has taken it. In exchange for that policy, at the end of the semester, I will drop your two lowest quiz grades.

Tests (50%)

You should make every conceivable effort to be present and prepared for an hour test. If you do not feel that you are prepared, you must take the test anyway. The only valid excuses for missing a test are serious illnesses and unavoidable emergencies which can be verified. If you foresee that you must miss a test, then you should make arrangements, before the absence, to take the test. If you miss a test for a reason that is less than compelling, you will not be allowed to take the test later. If you miss a test, it is essential that you contact me and make arrangements at the earliest possible moment.Failure to follow this policy will invalidate any excuse.

When you study for a test, do not attempt to do all of your studying in one night. Instead, spread your studying out over several nights. On the night before a test, the most important thing you can do is to get a good night's rest. Do not drink alcohol on the two or three days before a test. If you do, it will affect your ability to concentrate, think logically, and recall facts. In other words, it will make it look as if you didn't study.

The test schedule is as follows:

Test Date Material
#1 Fri, Feb 17 Chapters 1 - 4
#2 Fri, Mar 23 Chapters 5 - 8
#3 Fri, Apr 20 Chapters 9 - 11

Final Exam (20%)

The final exam will be cumulative. It will be given on Mon, May 7, at 2:00 p.m. in Bagby 111. Everyone must take it and it will not be rescheduled. Read the Examination policy in the Academic Catalogue.


Read the Class Attendance policy in the Academic Catalogue. Attendance will be checked at the beginning of each class.If you arrive late, you will be counted absent.If that happens and you would like the absence to be changed to a late arrival, then see me after class. Otherwise, late arrivals and absences will all count as absences.Two late arrivals will be counted as one absence.

The only valid excuses for missing class are

No other excuses will be considered. It is fine to send an e-mail or leave a voice message when you are absent, but do not assume that your absence was excused just because you sent an e-mail or left a voice message. To have the absence excused you must see me after class or during office hours.

When assigning final grades, attendance will be taken into account.

Absences Action
0 - 3 Grade bonus (unless your grade is F)
4 - 6 Neutral
7 - 9 Grade penalty (unless your grade is D)
> 9 Withdrawal

A warning letter will be sent out after the 9th absence. The last day to drop a course without a grade of WF is Fri, Mar 9.


A calculator will be necessary for this course. I encourage you to use a more advanced statistical calculator with keys for the mean and standard deviation. I strongly recommend the TI-83 or the TI-84. All calculators will be permitted, including programmable calculators. Instruction on the use of the TI-83 and TI-84 will be given in class. Outside of class I can help you with other types of calculator.

The Honor Code

If I find any indication of cheating on tests or the exam, I will try to confront you with the evidence first. Then the evidence will be turned over to the Honor Court. They will follow up as they see fit.

You should be careful not to talk to others or to open books or notebooks during a test. If you must use the restroom during a test, take no test or study materials with you. Even then, you should not need to go to the restroom more than once. Do not bring a cell phone to the tests.

If you must take a make-up test, either before or after the regularly scheduled test, you must not communicate any information about the test to any other student or receive such information from any other student by any means whatsoever. Even to indicate whether you thought the test was easy or hard constitutes an Honor Code violation.

Classroom Etiquette

This web page is maintained by Robb T. Koether
Date of last modification: Jan 16, 2012

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