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STATS 116:Theory of Probability

Probability spaces as models for phenomena with statistical regularity. Discrete spaces (binomial, hypergeometric, Poisson). Continuous spaces (normal, exponential) and densities. Random variables, expectation, independence, conditional probability. Introduction to the laws of large numbers and central limit theorem. Prerequisites: MATH 52 and familiarity with infinite series, or equivalent.
Terms: Aut, Spr, Sum | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Math, WAY-AQR, WAY-FR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

STATS 141:Biostatistics (BIO 141)

Introductory statistical methods for biological data: describing data (numerical and graphical summaries); introduction to probability; and statistical inference (hypothesis tests and confidence intervals). Intermediate statistical methods: comparing groups (analysis of variance); analyzing associations (linear and logistic regression); and methods for categorical data (contingency tables and odds ratio). Course content integrated with statistical computing in R.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Math, WAY-AQR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

STATS 167:Probability: Ten Great Ideas About Chance (PHIL 166, PHIL 266, STATS 267)

Foundational approaches to thinking about chance in matters such as gambling, the law, and everyday affairs. Topics include: chance and decisions; the mathematics of chance; frequencies, symmetry, and chance; Bayes great idea; chance and psychology; misuses of chance; and harnessing chance. Emphasis is on the philosophical underpinnings and problems. Prerequisite: exposure to probability or a first course in statistics at the level of STATS 60 or 116.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Math, WAY-AQR, WAY-FR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

STATS 191:Introduction to Applied Statistics

Statistical tools for modern data analysis. Topics include regression and prediction, elements of the analysis of variance, bootstrap, and cross-validation. Emphasis is on conceptual rather than theoretical understanding. Applications to social/biological sciences. Student assignments/projects require use of the software package R. Recommended: 60, 110, or 141.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Math, WAY-AQR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

THINK 1:The Science of MythBusters

How do scientists actually go about answering practical questions? How does science function as a way of understanding our world, and importantly how does it differ from other approaches? As its point of departure, this course will examine and critique selected episodes of the television series, MythBusters (Discovery Channel), which tests the validity of many popular beliefs in a variety of imaginative ways, including myths, rumors, traditions, and stories. We will take the opportunity to delve more deeply into the applicability of the scientific method in understanding a vast range of real-world problems, and into the practical acquisition of fact-based knowledge, which together form the cornerstone of all science. The intellectual framework of this course will be based, first and foremost, on skeptical inquiry, combined with the other key ingredients of good science, which include: framing the question well, careful experimental design, meticulous observation and measurement, quantitative analysis and modeling, the evaluation of statistical significance, recovery from failure, disseminating findings, and the continuous cycle of hypothesis and testing. Note: This course is taught at an introductory level, but it pays serious attention to the quantitative treatment of experimental data and associated tests of statistical significance. All students taking the course will be expected to learn, and to work a series of problems in, basic probability and statistics. There is also a hands-on, "dorm lab" component that involves some fabrication and a significant amount of individual testing and measurement. The final course project will involve developing and writing a scientific grant proposal to test a myth. We hope to inculcate in our students "a taste for questioning, a sense of observation, intellectual rigor, practice with reasoning, modesty in the face of facts, the ability to distinguish between true and false, and an attachment to logical and precise language. " (Yves Quéré, 2010 Science 330:605).
Terms: Aut, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 3:Breaking Codes, Finding Patterns

Why are humans drawn to making and breaking codes? To what extent is finding patterns both an art and a science? Cryptography has been used for millennia for secure communications, and its counterpart, cryptanalysis, or code breaking, has been around for just slightly less time. In this course we will explore the history of cryptography and cryptanalysis including the Enigma code, Navajo windtalkers, early computer science and the invention of modern Bayesian inference. We will try our own hand at breaking codes using some basic statistical tools for which no prior experience is necessary. Finally, we will consider the topic of patterns more generally, raising such questions as why we impute meaning to patterns, such as Biblical codes, and why we assume a complexity within a pattern when it's not there, such as the coincidence of birthdays in a group.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-FR | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 23:The Cancer Problem: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

How has our approach to cancer been affected by clinical observations, scientific discoveries, social norms, politics, and economic interests? Approximately one in three Americans will develop invasive cancer during their lifetime; one in five Americans will die as a result of this disease. This course will expose you to multiple ways of approaching the cancer problem, including laboratory research, clinical trials, population studies, public health interventions, and health care economics. We will start with the 18th century discovery of the relationship between coal tar and cancer, and trace the role of scientific research in revealing the genetic basis of cancer. We will then discuss the development of new treatments for cancer as well as measures to screen for and prevent cancer, including the ongoing debate over tobacco control. Using cancer as a case study, you will learn important aspects of the scientific method including experimental design, data analysis, and the difference between correlation and causation. You will learn how science can be used and misused with regard to the public good. You will also learn about ways in which social, political, and economic forces shape our knowledge about and response to disease.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 33:The Water Course

How can we balance all the competing, and growing, demands for freshwater? When you turn on your tap, where does the water come from?nnnWater is essential for life. But, around the world, governments and citizens are challenged to balance the human demands on our freshwater resources, while protecting the integrity of natural ecosystems. At the core of the challenge is our limited understanding, in many parts of the world, of the watershed-scale hydrologic cycle ¿ the course that the water follows from rainfall, to river, to groundwater, to ocean, to atmosphere, and back again. The Water Course takes students along that course, exploring the role that natural systems and human systems play in impacting both the quantity and quality of our freshwater. We will consider questions surrounding decisions about water allocation, and discuss new scientific methods that provide support for science-based decision making in the management of freshwater resources. You will connect global-scale issues to your personal experiences with water through a quarter-long project investigating both water quantity and water quality for a city or watershed in the western U.S. You will produce a numerical model, and make approximations, to describe a complex natural system. Using online resources you will explore the pathway that water takes from rainfall to your tap.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 39:Energy? Understanding the Challenge, Developing Solutions

How much energy do we need to run the world and what energy resources can we use? How do we convert those resources into energy services? What are the economic, environmental, and security costs of energy services? How will energy markets address the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emission? Energy is the lifeblood of human societies. Energy use is intricately woven through the fabric of the productive (and comfortable) lives we live in the developed world. We use energy to move and sometimes make fresh water, grow food, transport it to markets, heat, cool, and light our dwellings and workplaces, communicate and compute, and travel the world. We worry about energy security and fret about the cost of gasoline. And as world population continues to grow and the developing world seeks to use energy for the services we enjoy, the challenge of supplying the energy the world needs will grow commensurately. Energy is also a primary way human activities interact with global air, water, and biological systems that provide essential services to us and the planet. Balancing our interactions with those systems will require dramatic changes to the world¿s energy systems in the decades to come. This course examines the energy challenges, opportunities, and choices that lie ahead.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

URBANST 124:Spatial Approaches to Social Science (ANTHRO 130D, ANTHRO 230D, POLISCI 241S)

This multidisciplinary course combines different approaches to how GIS and spatial tools can be applied in social science research. We take a collaborative, project oriented approach to bring together technical expertise and substantive applications from several social science disciplines. The course aims to integrate tools, methods, and current debates in social science research and will enable students to engage in critical spatial research and a multidisciplinary dialogue around geographic space.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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