Probability & Statistics at ALHGS


The Class


The syllabus for the course, a PDF document, can be found here (MTH 154 portion).

Academic Integrity

Probability & Statistics (P&S) is intended to provide an introduction to the field of data analysis as well as the modeling of uncertainty. Students learn life skills in addition to skills they can use in their academic and professional career. Grades are based on problem assignments, in-class participation, projects, and exams. Thus, it is imperative that the work you submit is entirely your own. Therefore, collaboration on any assigned class work is prohibited without the expressed written authorization of the course instructor.

You are never allowed to discuss specific aspects of a project or problem assignment including but not limited to implementation details, perceived difficulty level of the assignment, general programming approach, etc. with anyone other than the instructor of this course. You are never allowed to look at another student's work from this or previous years, or share R-code with another student. If another student uses your work, you are both in violation of the collaboration policy. You may never copy code or written problem assignment solutions from an outside source such as, but not limited to, an online forum, and you may not post any P&S material on any such site.

You may discuss - and are strongly encouraged to do so - lecture material, general concept questions, and R coding questions, so long as the discussion is not specific to any project, problem assignment, or other graded work.

The complete Academic Integrity collaboration policy (PDF) is available here. (Revision/update coming soon.)

Assignment Submission

Graded work must be submitted on or before the due date and time without exception. Please remember the following:

  • No assignment work will be accepted after it is past due.
  • No past work can be "made-up" after it is due.
  • No re-grade requests will be entertained three (3) business days after graded work is returned.
  • Graded work, which is required to be submitted via email, will not be accepted without a read receipt.
Assignment submission methodology, as well as grade weight/point value, will be specified at the time of assignment release. Without exception, students must use the specified submission method and format. The current Assignment Submission Guide (PDF) is available here.



Piazza will be used as the only throughout the course for a Q&A forum. Enrollment in Piazza is mandatory. If you have questions about anything related to the course, please post them on Piazza rather than emailing the instructor. Please do not post anything resembling a solution to a homework problem before it's due. If in doubt, you should make your post private (visible to instructors only). We always welcome any feedback on what we could be doing better. See the Piazza Etiquette section below for more on using Piazza. To join the class on Piazza, follow this link.


Exchange Email & Calendar

HGS Virtual Classroom: Jigsaw

Microsoft Teams

Each student will be given a HGS Microsoft for Education account. As part of that account, students will have access to Microsoft Teams. Teams will be used by students for meeting with other Probability & Statistics students to discuss not only course materail, but a meeting place to know your colleges in the class.


Piazza Etiquette

Important Note

Student participation on Piazza is encouraged and required. Thus, rather than answering a question right away, we will wait until other students answer the question(s).

We will still provide clarifications on logistics, typos, subtle points, etc. after a student answers.

In order to make Piazza a better resource for everyone, we've outlined some guidelines/rules for you to follow when posting your question(s). Questions which follow these guidelines will have a higher chance of being answered. Not following some of the rules will result in the question being deleted and, hence, unanswered.


1. Ask Problem Assignment questions only in Problem Assignment posts.

We've created individual posts for each problem assignment. Please ask questions, discuss problems, or help out in those posts only. Before asking a question, read through (or search) the whole post to see if your question has been answered.

2. Do not post answers in Piazza.

Please do not give away the answer on Piazza. You can explain things in a way that still lets other students figure out the essence of the problem on their own, but do not spoil the problem. For example, do not point to a useful You Tube link that works out essentially what the problem is asking about.

You may post such spoilers after the problem assignment is due if you wish. If you are not about the appropriateness of what you want to post, post privately to the instructor and then the instructor will let you if you should post.

3. Try to make posts public.

While not violating Rule 2, try to make your questions public, because others probably have the same question. There is no need to answer the the same question multiple times because others cannot see your question/answer.

4. Neither Piazza nor the Instructor are for pre-grading.

Please do not post questions of the form:

  • "Is this the correct solution to Problem Assignment X problem Y?"
  • "Would this receive full credit on Problem Assignment X problem Y?"
  • "Is this the right level of detail for Problem Assignment X problem Y?"

Please do not use Piazza (or email) as a medium to ask the instructor to check your work in advance.

Feel free to ask questions of clarification, or ask questions about the course content to achieve a deeper understanding, but at a certain point you must apply your knowledge and submit your answer with confidence.

5. Post a screen shot of any resource referenced.

Your question should be self-contained. Other students (or the instructor) should not have to scan through PDFs, etc. to try to understand the question.

Ask yourself: am I referring to some lecture slide/lecture note/Problem Assignment solution/discussion solution/past exam? If the answer is yes, post a screen shot of the relevant part along with your question.

6. Post all your work.

Do not post one line saying:

At step n, I get XYZ, and I'm now confused.

This forces the responder to guess:

What happened in steps 1, 2, ..., n - 1?

Most likely, the responder will guess wrong, and then there will a lot of wasted time with follow-up questions trying to understand what steps 1, 2, ..., n - 1 were.

Instead, post:

Starting out, we have: ....
Then, I do ..., and I get ...
Next, I do ..., and I get ...
Next, I do ..., and I get ...
Now, I get $&%&#(, and this makes no sense.

Then, someone can respond:

The mistake is at step 3, you're not allowed to apply ABC to XYZ because ...
7. Post narrow, precise questions.

A question of the form "Can someone please explain hypothesis tests to me?" is not helpful.

Ask focused questions...for example:

Can someone please explain this step in working a right-tail test problem?
[Clear Sharp Image of Your Work on Paper (with an arrow draw in)]
In finding the critical value, I get that we have:
  • fact 1 in your own words
  • fact 2 in your own words
  • fact 3 in your own words
However, I don't get how we get:
  • fact 4 in your own words