MATH 3355-4: Probability
  MATH 3355   Probability   Spring 2006
  Section 4   Instructor: Dan Cohen   Phone: 578-1576
  M W F   12:40 - 1:30     Office Hours: M W F   11:30 - 12:30   E-mail:
  132 Lockett   Office: 372 Lockett   URL:  

TextA First Course in Probability, Seventh Edition, by Sheldon Ross. We will cover portions of the first eight chapters.
Copies of the seventh edition will be available in the Math Tutoring Lab (39 Allen, hours M-Th 9:30-5:30, F 9:30-3:00) and on reserve in the library.

Prerequisites:  MATH 2057 (Calculus III).

Catalog Description:   Introduction to probability, emphasizing concrete problems and applications; random variables, expectation, conditional probability, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, stochastic processes.
This course serves as preparation for the actuarial exam focusing on probability.

Homework:  This course will use the computer package WeBWorK for the assigning and grading of some homework problems. The first graded WeBWorK assignment will be given in the second week of classes. Your initial WeBWork assignment will be to successfully log on to the system at and complete the introductory problem set (Set 0). This problem set is designed to acquaint you with using WeBWorK, and will not be graded. You should verify that you are able to log on by the end of the first week of classes. If you are enrolled in the course, but are not able to access WeBWorK, contact me (preferably by email: ).

I will assign other homework problems from the text essentially every class. These homework assignments will be announced in class, posted at, and occasionally discussed in class as necessary, but will not be collected.

To some extent, homework problems will be indicative of problems you can expect to encounter on exams.

Homework will be worth 100 points.

Exams:  There will be two hour-long, in-class exams, each worth 100 points. The exams will tentatively take place in the weeks of February 13 or 20 and March 27 or April 3. Exact exam dates will be announced in class. No make-up exams, except in extreme cases. If you must miss an exam, I will expect you to notify me before the exam takes place.

Final:  There will be a comprehensive final exam worth 150 points. The final exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 11, 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

Grade:   Your course grade will be out of the 450 possible points outlined above. I may curve course grades. In any case, 90-100% is assured an A, 80-89% a B, and so on.

Important Dates:   January 24 is the last day to drop; January 26 is the last day to add; Mardi Gras is February 27-28; April 4 is the last day to withdraw; Spring Break is April 10-14.

Blue Books:   For redistribution for the exams and final, please bring four (blank) blue books to class in the second week of classes.

Notes:   In this course, we will examine both the practical and theoretical aspects of probability. Probability is a tool of fundamental importance to scientists, engineers, and indeed to anyone who uses statistics. Although probability has a strong grounding in common sense, we will see that intuition can often lead us astray if we are not careful. We will develop rigorous methods for analyzing probability, which we will use to solve problems, and we will also endeavor to gain an understanding of why these methods work.

Bear in mind that you are taking this course under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct.

Dan Cohen   Spring 2006            This page: