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Math 3355 sample syllabus

Math 3355: Probability

Spring 2015

November 13, 2014

Instructor: Lawrence Smolinsky
Office: Lockett 382
Phone: 578-1570

Section 2.
Day and Time: 10:30-11:50 Tuesdays and Thursdays
Location: 112 Lockett
Final Exam: Wednesday May 6th, 3:30 p.m.

Section 3.
Day and Time: 1:30-2:50 Tuesdays and Thursday
Location: 212 Lockett
Final Exam: Saturday May 9th, 12:30 p.m.

Text. Saeed Ghahramani, Fundamentals of Probability, (3rd Edition) Prentice Hall 2005

Prerequisites: Math 2057

Format. This class is a 3-credit lecture class. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 6 hours per week on reading and homework outside of class.

Integrity and Ethical Conduct. Students are required to conduct themselves in the accordance to the “Code of Student Conduct.” A provision that is particularly relevant for multi-section classes is section 5.1.C.5. It explicitly forbids collaborating with any other student by giving, receiving or otherwise sharing information without prior approval of the instructor. While I allow students to discuss homework assignments, students are explicitly forbidden from discussing exam content. A student in an early exam is forbidden from sharing information about an exam with a student who has yet to take the exam. A student in a late exam is forbidden from receiving information from a student who has taken an earlier exam. This restriction holds regardless of whether or not the exams are similar.

Students may use a basic scientific calculator similar to a TI-30 in an exam. Cell phones, and other electronic devices are forbidden. Cell phone my not be accessed during an exam.

Comments and recommendations. One strength of Ghahramani's textbook is that it is a readable book, but the flipside is that it is a little chatty. We cannot cover all the explanation and examples given in Ghahramani and cover the required material. Students should read the text.

I do plan on covering most sections required for the Society of Actuaries Exam P (the syllabus is on my webpage), however that is not sufficient to pass Exam P/Exam 1. If you plan on taking Exam P, then you should plan on studying ~100 hours after Math 3355 is complete in preparation for Exam P. More information on Exam P is available at

For help studying in general, you can refer to the LSU center for academic success at

Syllabus. The course will cover most of the material chapters 1-11 of Ghahramani's textbook. The planned list of sections is as follows but is subject to change.

Chapter 1: Axioms and Basic Definitions
Chapter 2: Combinatorial Methods
Chapter 3.1-3.5: Conditional Probability and Independence
Chapter 4: Discrete Random Variables (Theory)
Chapter 5: Discrete Random Variables (Distributions)
Chapter 6: Continuous Random Variables (Theory)
Chapter 7.1-7.4: Continuous Random Variables (Distributions)
Chapter 8: Bivariate Distributions
Chapter 9: Multivariate Distributions
Chapter 10: Covariance and the Bivariate Normal Distribution
Chapter 11: Sums of Independent Random Variables and the Central Limit Theorem

Homework. Homework will be given using WebWork and usually each week of class. There is a link to webwork from the course web page. Your webwork login name is your myLSU login name, and your password is initially set to the first two characters of your login name followed by the last four digits of the 89 ID number. There may be additional assignments other than WebWork, which will not be a part of your homework grade unless explicitly stated at the time assigned. If in-class quizzes are given, then they will be part of the homework grade.

The first listed WebWork assignment is an Assignment. This assignment is an optional assignment that does not contribute to your grade but is an introduction to using WebWork. It will allow those who have not used WebWork to gain familiarity before the first graded assignment. It will open the week before classes.

Grading. There will be two in-class exams and a final exam. There will also be homework assignments that will be graded for the course.

Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 20%
Final Exam 30%
Homework 30%

The grading scale will be announced in class.