Statistics | Introduction to Statistics
S320 | 15317 | Michael Trosset

S320 introduces the basic concepts of statistical inference through a
careful study of several important procedures. Topics include 1- and
2-sample location problems, the one-way analysis of variance, and
simple linear regression. Most assignments involve applying
probability models and/or statistical methods to practical situations
and/or actual data sets.

Prerequisites: No previous knowledge of probability is assumed; S320
is recommended for students who wish to take a single, self-contained
semester of statistics that emphasizes analyzing data. We will use
several basic concepts from calculus; hence, S320 has a prerequisite
of MATH M212.

Who Should Take This Course?

As reflected by the large number of introductory statistics courses at
IU, there are a great many different ways to begin the study of
statistics. The best way to have a positive experience with statistics
is to take a course that provides the kind of experience that you want
to have.

The Department of Statistics offers three introductory statistics
courses. STAT S100 emphasizes quantitative reasoning skills and
statistical literacy. It should make you a more critical consumer of
the quantitative information that you encounter in newspapers,
magazines, etc.; however, it is not the purpose of S100 to introduce
you to a variety of methods for analyzing experimental data.

Both STAT S300 and STAT S320 emphasize using statistical methods to
analyze data. Such "methods" courses come in a variety of flavors.
Most describe recipes for analyzing data and use a statistical
software package in which these recipes have been implemented. S300 is
a good example of such courses. Many other departments at IU offer an
introductory statistics course of this type.

S320 provides greater emphasis on understanding fundamental principles
of statistical inference than does S300. S320 differs from typical
methods courses in the following respects:

* Greater emphasis on why a method works. Many courses explain
how, but provide little explanation of why.

* Greater depth, less breadth. Many courses provide superficial
coverage of a great many topics; S320 covers fewer topics, but in
considerably more detail. Students desiring knowledge of procedures
not covered in this course are strongly encouraged to take additional
statistics courses. S320 is the gateway to majoring in statistics.

* More math. S320 is not a theoretical course (like STAT S420)
and it does not use sophisticated mathematics. However, S320 does
introduce a good deal of mathematical notation and it does assume that
students are comfortable plugging numbers into formulas.

* Interactive computing. Rather than use a statistical computer
package as a "black box," S320 relies on computer tools that simplify
the computational burden but which require the student to understand
how the analysis is to be performed.

In a nutshell: Students in the empirical sciences collect and analyze
data, often using computer software that they don't understand. S320
was designed for students who really want to *understand* what they're
doing when they perform such analyses.