Professor: Lorenzo Sadun Classes: MWF, 9-10, RLM 6.104
Website: http://www.ma.utexas.edu/~sadun/F10/362K Office: RLM 9.114 Office Hours: M 11-12, Tu 11-12:15
Phone: 471-7121 Email: email@example.com Text: A First Course in Probability, 8th edition, by Sheldon Ross. Prerequisites: M408D or M408L with a grade of at least C-. In particular, you really do need to know about infinite series (at least the simple ones) and know how to integrate by parts. Syllabus: We will cover almost all of chapters 1-5, most of chapters 6 and 7, and half of chapter 8. You can find an online day-by-day schedule here. Homework: There will be weekly problem sets, due in class on Wednesday. Because of budget cuts, there is limited grading support for the class. As a result, only a few problems per week will be marked for correctness, with feedback given. The rest will be marked only for completion. Exams: There will be three in-class midterm exams, on September 29, November 3 and December 1, plus a final exam on Thursday, December 9, 9-12. These exams will all be closed book. However, each student will be allowed to bring a single letter-sized ``crib sheet'' (2-sided) to each midterm, and 2 crib sheets to the final. These notes must be HANDWRITTEN ORIGINALS - NO XEROXING ALLOWED. Grading: Each midterm counts 20%. The final exam counts 40%. The homework, taken together, counts 20%. At the end of the term I will drop your lowest 20%. The final grade distribution, which does include +/- grading, is neither a straight scale nor a fixed curve. It will depend on how well the class does as a whole, but the cutoffs for the major grades (A- vs B+, B- vs C+, etc) are guaranteed not to be any tougher than the straight scale 90/80/70/60.
A Romanian translation of this page is also available, thanks to Alexander Ovsov.
First midterm: The first midterm will be on September 29, and will cover sections 1.1 through 1.5, 2.1 through 2.5, 3.1 through 3.4, and 4.1 through 4.3. Homework #5 will be due on October 6, not on September 29. However, I strongly encourage you to do the homework early, as a way to study for the test. Study hard, create good crib sheets (see above), and show me what you know on test day.
Second midterm: The second midterm will be on November 3, and will focus on chapters 4-6. Not every section is on the test. For chapter 4, we have sections 4.1 through 4.7, plus 4.8.1. For chapter 5 we have everything but 5.5.1 and 5.6, and for chapter 6 we have 6.1 through 6.3. Homework #9 will be due on November 10, not on November 3. As with the first test, I encourage you to do the homework early, as a way to study for the test.
Practice Second midterms. I've posted old midterms from 2001, 2002, and 2004. In general, the third midterm is more useful to look at, since it covers random variable, while the second midterm is all about combinatorics. However, there is a notational glitch. For discrete random variables, the book I used back then used the term "pdf" and the lower-case f notation to refer to what we are calling the probability mass function. I apologize for any confusion.
Third midterm: The third midterm will be on Wednesday, December 1, and will focus on chapters 7 and 8. As with previous midterms, calculators are not allowed, it's closed book, and you're allowed a crib sheet. Unfortunately, none of the old exams are particularly good practice, since they're all based on a different text that treated theoretical material differently.
Review session/ office hours: On Monday, December 6 I'll hold "extended office hours" from 9-11 AM, RLM 7.104. (One floor ABOVE our usual room.) In this session, I'll try to summarize the whole semester and answer any questions you may have. On Tuesday I'll hold my regular office hours 11-12 in RLM 9.114.
*Handouts and Other Course Information
First Day Handout Course Schedule Homework Actual first midterm, with and without solutions. Practice first midterm from 2004 with and without solutions. Practice first midterm from 2002 with and without solutions. Practice first midterm from 2001 with and without solutions. Practice first midterm from 1996 with and without solutions. The teddy bear in problem 1 now decorates a dorm room at Pomona College. Practice second midterm from 2004 with and without solutions. Practice second midterm from 2002 with and without solutions. Practice second midterm from 2001 with and without solutions. Practice third midterm from 2004 with and without solutions. Practice third midterm from 2002 with and without solutions. Practice third midterm from 2001 with and without solutions. Actual second midterm, with and without solutions. The solutions were updated on Nov 4 to reflect some things I saw in the test papers. Actual third midterm, with and without solutions. Actual final exam, with and without solutions.