This course is intended to provide students with the skills necessary to digest, critique, and express every-day statistics and to use statistical thinking to answer questions in their own lives. Students will be exposed to and produce descriptive statistics, including measures of central tendency & spread, as well as common visual representations of data. The bulk of the class will be devoted to giving students the tools needed to analyze and critique statistical claims, including an understanding of the dangers of confounding variables and bias, the advantages and limitations of various study designs and statistical inference, and how to carefully read and parse claims which attempt to use numbers to sway their audience. The class will examine this material in authentic contexts such as political polling, medical decision making, online dating, and personal finance. This course is primarily aimed at students whose majors do not require mathematics or statistics.
Max Enrollment: 25
Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have completed another introductory statistics course at Wellesley, including MATH 101/STAT 101, STAT 160, STAT 218, MATH 220/STAT 220 (prior to spring 2018), BISC 198, ECON 103/SOC 190, POL 299, PSYC 105 or PSYC 205. Not open to students who have received AP credit in Statistics.
Instructor: Bu, Cochran
Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving
Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)
Typical Periods Offered: Fall and Spring
Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring
Notes: Note that this course cannot be used as a prerequisite for upper-level courses in statistics or econometrics including STAT 260 and ECON 203.