Class Schedule

In this course—see syllabus and course requirements—you will learn the basic concepts of probability theory and then apply probability to examine a research question on a topic of your choice. The course is inspired by the website www.rootclaim.com.

The course is divided in three parts. Part 1 examines how to formulate a research question, identify hypotheses and collect evidence. Part 2 turns to probability theory as a tool to assess the strength of the evidence supporting a hypothesis. Part 3 applies probability theory to answering a research question of your choice. 

PART 1 – QUESTIONS, EVIDENCE, HYPOTHESES

week 1: Jan 29 & Jan 31 – Introduction [slides]

week 2: Feb  5 and Feb 7 –  Asking questions [slides]

week 3 &4: Feb 14 and Feb 21 – Identifying hypotheses

No class on Feb 12 & Feb 19 

Peterson/Newman on gender pay gap [video]

week 5 : Feb 26 & Feb 28 –  Collecting evidence

Articles on men v. women and gender pay gap [pdf]

week  6: Mar 5 & Mar 7 – Evidence and hypotheses

PART 2 – PROBABILITY

week 7: Mar 12 & Mar 14 –  Basics of probability [pdf]

week 8: Mar 19 & Mar 21 – Conditional probability [pdf]

week 9: Mar 26 & Mar 28 – Review  [sample exam]

Exam #1 on March 26 [exam (with solutions)]

week 10:  No class on Apr 2 & Apr 4 – Spring break

week 11:  Apr 9 & Apr 11 – Bayes’ theorem [link, link]

week 12:  Apr 16 & Apr 18 – Review [sample exam (with solutions)]

Exam #2 due April 23 at the beginning of class [take home]

PART 3 – APPLYING PROBABILITY

week 13: Apr 23 & Apr 25 – Prior probabilities

NB: assignment STAGE 4 [pdfdue April 30

please also bring a hard copy to class

week 14: Apr 30 & May 2 – Guest lecture

Benjamin Resnick from Rootclaim will be a guest lecturer

week 15: May 7 & May 9 –  Applying Bayes’ theorem

NB: assignment STAGE 5 [pdfdue May 9 

Download GENIE (if you use Mac, you’ll also need PlayOnMac; see video)

week 16: May 14 & May 16 – Students’ presentations

NB: assignment STAGE 6 [pdfdue May 14

Final REPORT [pdfdue May 18 –  upload here

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