MATH 3355-3: Probability

MATH 3355   Probability   Spring 2010

  Section 3   Instructor: Dan Cohen   Phone: 578-1576
  T Th   10:40 - 12:00     Office Hours:   T Th   7:30-9:00 am  
           and by appointment
  243 Lockett   Office: 372 Lockett   URL:  

TextFundamentals of Probability, Third Edition, by Saeed Ghahramani. We will probably cover portions of the first ten chapters.

Prerequisites:  MATH 2057 (Calculus III).

Description:   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.

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 section of Probability will use the computer package WeBWorK for the assigning and grading of homework. The WeBWorK log-in page for this course is
Your username is your PAWS email name, and your initial password is your 89 ID number (with no spaces or hyphens). You may change your password if you wish. WeBWorK also stores your PAWS email address. If you prefer another email address, you may change this as well.

WeBWorK assignments will be given throughout the semester. The first assignment is available now. You should make sure you can successfully log in, and begin working on it immediately. In total, WeBWorK homework will be worth 100 points.

I will assign other homework problems from the text (to be done by hand for practice) essentially every class. These homework assignments will be announced in class and posted

Homework, both from WeBWorK and the text, will occassionally be discussed in class as necessary.

Exams:  There will be two in-class exams, each worth 100 points. The exams will tentatively take place in the weeks of February 22 and March 29. 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 13, 12:30 - 2:30 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 26 is the last day to drop; January 28 is the last day to add; Mardi Gras is February 14-16; April 1 is the last day to withdraw; Spring Break is April 2-11.

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

Dan Cohen   Spring 2010            This page: