Math 321 Statistics for Experimentalists (Florence) Spring 2020: Syllabus


We will use 2 books for the class. Both are available for free on the web.


An applied statistics course for those with calculus preparation. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability theory, discrete and continuous random variables, and methods of inferential statistics including interval estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression.


Students will learn the language and basic techniques of probability and statistics. They will calculate apply these techniques to caclulate probabilities and perform statistical tests. They will also clearly communicate and interpret their solutions. Students will also learn to use the statistical program R.

Outcomes for a Core Mathematics Course:

These learning outcomes support the University Core curriculum learning outcomes:
A) Students will be able to use the basic modes of inquiry and expression of the disciplines that represent liberal education.
C) Students will be able to communicate clearly and persuasively, using ideas and arguments based on evidence, logic, and critical thinking.


Grades will be based on scores on exams, WeBWorK, and worksheets/R projects. There will be 3 exams during the semester, each worth 15% of the final grade. In addition, a cumulative final exam will count for 25% of the grade. The remaining 30% of the grade will come from scores on WeBWorK assignments (16%) and worksheets/R projects (14%). An approximate schedule for the semester is on the home page for the course. No extra credit will be given. Final grades will be assigned using the following scale (with + or - for the top and bottom scores within appropriate ranges):
Score Grade
90-100 A
80-90 B
70-80 C
60-70 D
0-60 F


You will have about one WeBWorK assignment each week. These assignments comprise your homework score on the final grade and should be done outside of class on a computer (the usual deadline will be 4:00 Thursday). Solutions are automatically and instantaneously checked for accuracy. You are allowed (and encouraged) to retry each problem until you get it right.

A list of additional suggested exercises is posted on the course web page. These problems will not be collected or graded, however it is nearly impossible to learn without practice and students are strongly encouraged to do these exercises. Students are also encouraged to bring questions about the homework and practice problems to office hours and class. Students occasionally find Kahn Academy or other on-line instructional material helpful. I would be happy to help you find material at the right level.

In general, I try to make the WeBWorK assignments short (in terms of number of problems) but challenging. This means I avoid the routine problems that are important for building skills when you first learn a technique. Instead, those problems are in the suggested exercises. I expect you to do enough of those problems to feel comfortable solving the more difficult problems on the WeBWorK. It is up to you to determine how much practice is enough (I think more is always better, but you're the expert on how you learn, so I'm leaving it up to you to decide).

Worksheets/ R projects:

You will have a worksheet or R project about once a week. These are meant to be worked on in small groups in class (and sometimes finished at home and turned in the following class). Worksheets guide you in building skills, developing techniques, using R, etc. They are meant to encourage you to think about what you know and how to use that knowledge. Usually this leads to some confusion, which is good, but the goal is for everything to eventually make sense (after you've asked questions, done some homework, and thought about it on your own). Worksheets and R projects are graded on completion, so don't be afraid to make guesses or try things you're not totally sure of.


Exams encourage you to review, practice, and refine your skills. My goal is to make exams long enough to cover the relevant material, but short enough that everyone has time to finish. Examples of past exams can be found on the old editions of the course web page.

Harassment, non-discrimination, and sexual misconduct:

Consistent with its mission, Gonzaga seeks to assure that all community members learn and work in a welcoming and inclusive environment. Title VII, Title IX and Gonzaga's policy prohibit gender-based harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct. Gonzaga encourages anyone experiencing gender-based harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct to talk to someone from the Campus and Local Resources list found in the Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy.

It may be helpful to talk about what happened in order to get the support needed and for Gonzaga to respond appropriately. There are options for support and resolution, namely confidential support resources, and campus reporting and support options available. Gonzaga will respond to all reports of sexual misconduct in order to stop the harassment, discrimination, or misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. Responses may vary from support service referrals to formal investigations.

As a faculty member, I want get you connected to the resources here on campus specially trained in and experienced in assisting in such complaints, and therefore I will report all incidents of gender-based harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct to Title IX (in fact, I am required to report such incidents). A representative from that office will reach out to you via phone and/or email to explore options for support, safety measures and reporting. I will provide our Title IX Director with all relevant details, including names and identifying information, of the information reported. For more information about policies and resources or reporting options, please visit the following websites: Equity and Inclusion and Title IX. If you would like to directly make a report of harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct directly, you may fill out an online Sexual Misconduct Report Form or contact the Title IX Director by phone, email, or in person:
Stephanie N. Thomas
Title IX Director
Business Services Building 018

Notice to students with disabilities and/or medical conditions:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability/medical condition requiring an accommodation, please call or visit the Disability Access Office (second floor of Foley Center Library, Room 208.)


I follow the university's standard policy on absences: the maximum allowable absence is two class hours (100 minutes) for each class credit. For a four-credit class meeting four times a week, the maximum number of absences allowed is eight. The grade for excessive absences is "V," which has the same effect as "F" (Fail) and is counted in the GPA. (See also Class Attendance Policy in the catalog).

Academic integrity:

All members of the Gonzaga community are expected to adhere to principles of honesty and integrity in their academic endeavors, and I will abide strictly by procedures and guidelines of the University's Academic Integrity Policy. Students and faculty are governed by this policy, and I encourage you to familiarize yourself with its scope and procedures. Ignorance of the policy will not serve as a defense against any violations.

Religious Accommodations for Students:

In compliance with Washington State law (RCW 28.10.039), it is the policy of Gonzaga University to reasonably accommodate students who, due to the observance of religious holidays, expect to be absent or endure a significant hardship during certain days of their academic course or program. The Policy on Religious Accommodations for Students describes procedures for students requesting a Religious Accommodation and for faculty responding to such a request.

Course evaluation:

At Gonzaga, we take teaching seriously, and we ask our students to evaluate their courses and instructors so that we can provide the best possible learning experience. In that spirit, we ask students to give us feedback on their classroom experience near the end of the semester. I will ask you to take a few minutes then to carry out course/instructor evaluation in class. Please know that I appreciate your participation in this process. This is a vital part of our efforts at Gonzaga to improve continually our teaching, our academic programs, and our entire educational effort.

Course resources


Office hours

Logan Axon
Department of Mathematics
MSC 2615
Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA 99258
Office: Herak 307A
Phone: 509.313.3897

Last updated 1/11/2020