Course Main Page; Math/Stat 394 A; PROBABILITY-1; Fall 2008


Special Announcement re Add Codes

Add codes will be given in the first class. However, there is a waiting list, and it may not be possible to accommodate everyone, or even all those who have good cases.

As has already been announced by email to all students registered as of Sept 18, any registered student who is absent on the first day of classes, and who does not email me to confirm they still want to take this class, may be dropped to accommodate those on the waiting list.


Always check the Schedule. It contains links to many things.

If you cannot click on any link, it probably means it is old stuff, not yet updated for 2008. If you think this is an error, please email me.

Office Hours

Tues 2.00-3.30 (from 10/14), Friday 10.00-11.30.
Or, email me for an appointment, or see me briefly after class (not Mondays).

Course text

The book is Sheldon Ross, A first course in Probability, Prentice-Hall (2006)

I will use the Seventh edition (2006). However, there is very little difference from the sixth edition (or even earlier editions?). If you are using a different edition, it is your responsibility to make sure you are doing the right reading/exercises/homeworks.

MATH/STAT 394 basically covers most of the first four Chapters of Ross (plus bits of Chapter 5).


Provisionally, homeworks are due Wednesday, before class.
Late homeworks will be penalized, except in exceptional circumstances.
Otherwise it is too hard on the grader, and delays homework returns for all.
Note your Homework grade is based on a "drop one"; i.e. best (n-1) our of n where n probably is 9.

Exams and Grading

There will be two midterms, one very early, and one quite late (see schedule). Although this is partly to accommodate my travel schedule, it also fits the course quite well. The total for the the two midterms is 40%. If, relative to the class, you do better on the first midterm, the two midterms will count equally (20% each). If you mess up on the first midterm, it will only count 10% for you, and you have a chance to make it up on the second, which will then count 30% for you. Each student's midterm total score will be figured both ways, and you will receive the maximum of the two scores.

If due to illness or other genuine emergency you miss one midterm, your score will be figured from the other midterm and your final.

Your overall score will be converted to a grade via a monotone increasing but non-linear function.
Grades will surely range from 2.0 to 4.0.
The top scoring students will obtain a 4.0 grade.
If you score less than 50% you will likely get below a 2.0.