Liberal Arts and Management Program | An Intro to Statistical Concepts and Reasoning
L316 | 11320 | Katie Whitlock


Every day we are bombarded with a constant stream of information
from a wide variety of sources, such as television, the Internet,
newspapers, and magazines.  Much of the information we receive comes
in the form of statistics, often based on informal polls or
surveys.  Very often, we are confronted with contradictory claims
based on statistical information.  And, although many people are
skeptical of statistics, it is not always easy to know when
statistics are being misused and when the information presented is
accurate.

This course introduces statistical techniques including both
descriptive and inferential statistics.  Our goal is to develop our
statistical skills so that we can be savvy consumers of statistics
and learn to assess and interpret statistical results.  Statistics
are used to try to convince us what to buy, who to vote for, and
even what to believe.  In this class we will focus on breaking down
the numbers and figuring out what they actually say about the social
world.  With this goal in mind, we will focus on learning how to do
calculations by hand, using a software program for statistical
analysis, and looking at examples of statistics as they are
presented to us.  At the end of this course, you will possess the
skills to not only identify misuse of statistics, but to conduct
your own research using statistical techniques.