Current Math 203 Assignments
Due date Assignment
Wed Jan 12 1. Buy your text.
2. Read: pp. 1-13.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 1, #4, 14.
Fri Jan 14 1. Read: pp. 13-17.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 1, #1, 2, 9, 11, 12.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 1, #18.
Wed Jan 19 1. Read: pp. 17-22.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 1, #20, 32, 42.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 1, #26.
Fri Jan 21 1. Journal 1: Describe your prior experiences with mathematics, starting at
time zero. You may describe your entire mathematical history, or if you
prefer discuss a shorter period (or incident) in more detail, depending on
what is more interesting or informative. You may wish to write about things
you, your parents, or your teachers did which made your experience better
or worse. You may in addition also give your thoughts about this course,
but make a smooth transition if you do so.
2. Read: pp. 35-49.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 2, #10.
4. Turn in the take home quiz over chapter 1.
Mon Jan 24 1. Read: pp. 49-55.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 2, #11, 52, 54.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 2, #28; also, find a minimum cost spanning tree for 54(a).
Wed Jan 26 1. Revisions of Journal 1 due (turn in a paper printout of your
journal, with all corrections made and the original attached, to get back the
Fri Jan 28 1. Read: pp. 55-61 and 83-96.
2. Reading Homework: Hand in the preparation quiz I gave out Wed., Jan. 26.
Mon Jan 31 1. Read: reread pp. 83-96 and read 96-102.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 3, #5.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 3, #6a.
4. Hand in the take home quiz on chapter 2.
Wed Feb 2 1. Read: pp. 102-108.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 3, #16, 18.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 3, #28a.
Fri Feb 4 1. Reading Homework: Turn in the practice problem handout from Wed.
Mon Feb 7 1. Turn in the Take Home Quiz on Ch. 3.
Mon Feb 14 1. In-Class Hour Exam on Chapters 1, 2 and 3.
Fri Feb 18 1. Journal 2: How do you feel class is going?
What did you think of the in-class hour exam?
If you did not do as well as you wanted to, what could you
do to do better? After having tried it, what do you think of the
webtests? (Wait until you've tried it once before answering!)
2. Read:pp. 176-193.
3. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 5, #1, 3, 9.
4. Reading Homework: Ch. 5, #2, 14.
Mon Feb 21 1. Read: pp. 193-202, 217-225.
2. Prepare problems for class discussion: Ch. 5, #16-22.
3. Reading Homework: Ch. 6, #2.
4. Fill out the Ch. 5 Focus Questions Handout for class discussion.
Math 203 -- Focus Questions for Chapter 5
What is bias?
What is variability?
What is meant by a placebo, and what is its purpose?
What is the difference between the population and the sample in a survey or experiment?
What is meant by a simple random sample of n people from a population?
Describe the two kinds of blindness commonly used in an experiment which will be statistically analyzed.
Describe the typical uses and effects of randomness in a survey or experiment.
Discuss whether and how the following affect bias and/or variability:
blindness (single or double)
What is confounding? Give an example.
5. Go over the following Preparation Sheet on Chapter 5 (in preparation for a ch. 5 quiz):
Preparation Sheet on Chapter 5
 (12 points) [This question will be taken from the Focus Questions for Chapter 5 handout.]
(a) What is meant by a placebo, and what is its purpose?
(b) Describe the typical uses and effects of randomness in a survey which will be
 (8 points) Show how to use the table of random digits given below to pick a random sample
of 4 letters from the alphabet A, ..., Z.
Wed Feb 23 Some of Monday's assignment I extended to Wednesday.
1. Read: pp. 217-225.
2. Reading Homework: Ch. 6, #2.
3. Turn in Take Home Quiz on Ch. 5.
Fri Feb 25 1. Project 1 is due.
2. Revisions for Journal 2 are due.
3. Read pp. 225-241.
4. Class Discussion Problems: Ch 6. # 9.
5. Reading Homework: Ch. 6, #20, 21.
Mon Feb 28 1. Read pp. 267-280.
2. Class Discussion Problems: Ch 7. # 10.
3. Reading Homework: Hand in Preparation Sheet for Ch. 6.
Wed Mar 1 1. Read pp. 280-290.
2. Class Discussion Problems: Ch 7: #9, 13, 24, 27.
3. Reading Homework: Ch 7 # 28.
4. Turn in Take Home Quiz on Ch 6.
Fri Mar 3 1. Read pp. 290-297.
2. Class Discussion Problems: Ch 7: #31, 32, 52.
3. Reading Homework: Ch 7 #34.
Mon Mar 6 1. Reading Homework: Turn in the Ch 7 preparation sheet. Here are the questions on that sheet:
(1) Suppose a game consists of throwing a die and flipping a coin, together.
(a) What is the sample space of possible outcomes?
(b) Assuming that the sides of the coin are equally likely and likewise
for the die, what is the probability that the coin comes up heads at
the same time that the die shows at least a 2?
(2) Suppose a game costs $1 to play. It consists of throwing a die. If the die comes up
1 through 4, you get your dollar back plus 20 cents. Otherwise, you get nothing back.
Assuming a probability model in which each face of the die is equally likely
to come up, what are the mean winnings for this game, taking into account the $1
cost of playing? Show how you get your answer.
(3) Suppose a certain population of people has normally distributed IQ's, with mean
110 and standard deviation 24.
(a) Draw a normal curve on which the mean, and 1 standard deviation on either
side of the mean are correctly indicated.
(b) In what range of IQ's does the middle 95% of the population fall?
(c) If you were randomly to sample people from this population in groups of 9, and
then to find the average IQ for each group of 9, what would the standard deviation
be for the means of the samples?
Wed Mar 8 1. Read pp. 309-319.
2. Reading Homework: Ch 8 #1, 2, 3.
3. Turn in Take Home Quiz for Ch. 7.
Fri Mar 10 1. Read pp. 319-331.
2. Reading Homework: Ch 8 #18.
3. Class Discussion Problems: Ch 8: #5, 6, 9, 10, 11.
Mon Mar 20 1. Turn in the Ch. 8 preparation sheet as a Reading Homework.
Here are the questions on it:
 It is known that 60% of all professors own cats.
Suppose you survey a random sample of 100
professors. (For this problem, assume that
the sampling distribution is normal.)
(a) Give a 99.7% confidence interval for the
percentage of professors in your sample who
(b) Give a 99.7% confidence interval for the
number of professors in your sample who own cats.
 A machine makes nails with a mean length of 4
inches, and a standard deviation of 0.2 inches.
(Assume the distribution of lengths is normal.)
Give a 95% confidence interval for nail lengths
for samples of size 16.
2. Journal 3: Analyze/Discuss Harold Andersen's column, excerpted below.
Is it unreasonable to make conclusions about large groups of people based
on a poll of a small sample? What more, if anything, should journalists say
than something like "45% of the electorate prefer Bush over Gore, with a
margin of error of 3%" when disclosing the results of a poll?
Excerpt from Harold Andersen's column in the Sunday, March 5 Omaha World Herald.
I decry again the careless use of poll results by too many journalists and the unqualified use of designed-to-alarm numbers by some government officials, by some in the news media and by a great many advocates trying to prove, by the numbers, that their cause is just.
Examples of such use of numbers - sometimes simply careless, sometimes intentional - appear on the public scene with distressing consistency. Three recent examples:
A front page New York Times story reporting the results of a Times/CBS News Poll said the poll showed that "voters' impressions of Texas Gov. George W. Bush nationally have diminished so substantially that now as many people dislike him as like him."
In the first place, the poll doesn't show anything more than the answers given by 979 adults scattered across the country who said they are registered voters and then expressed their personal opinion. It may provide the basis for a national projection or estimate, but it doesn't "show" the national picture.
The Times story moves on to a conclusion of fact that is downright silly: "If the general election were held today, the survey found, it would be a dead heat, with Mr. Bush drawing 45 percent and Mr. Gore 44 percent." (The poll in question is supposed to produce figures that allow the 979 responses to be projected as a reliable projection of how tens of millions of Americans feel, with a margin of error of only plus or minus 3 percent. Pollsters consider such a narrow projected margin - 45-44 percent in this case - a virtual dead heat.)
In the first place, the survey of 979 possible voters didn't "find" any nationwide facts.
When will journalists understand the limitations of public opinion polls and report the results of those polls with the proper qualifications and limitations clearly specified, keeping in mind, for just one example, that polls of a tiny percentage of a much larger mass of people don't reliably "show" or "find" the feelings of that large mass? Poll results allow projections (some of them very questionable), but they "show" or "find" only the answers of the tiny percentage represented by those who were polled.
Wed Mar 22 1. Turn in Take Home Quiz on Ch. 8.
Mon Mar 27 Today is the day of the in-class exam on Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8. You should bring
a calculator, and you may bring use 8.5x11 sheet of notes.
Fri Mar 31 1. Project 2 due (it was handed out in class Wed Mar 8).
Mon Apr 3 1. Revisions of Journal 3 are due today.
2. Read Ch 9, pp. 346-362.
3. Reading Homework: Ch 9., # 4, 6, 18.
Wed Apr 5 1. Read Ch 9, pp. 362-370.
2. Reading Homework: Turn in Worksheet from Monday, and Ch 9., # 12.
Fri Apr 7 1. Turn in take home quiz for Ch. 9.
Here are the answers to the take home quiz:
(a): 37996-1300 with check digit 2.
(b): The check digit is 6.
(c): The unknown digit is 6. (This zip code had too many digits; ignore one of the 0's.)
 The check digit is 3.
 The check digit is 0.
(a): The check digit is 5.
(b): The check digit is "X". (It's actually "10", but as indicated by the book,
in this situation the ISBN code uses the symbol X to keep the check "digit"
to a single character.)
 The check digit is 6.
Mon Apr 10 1. In class quiz on Ch. 9.
Fri Apr 14 1. Read Ch 10, pp. 379-389.
2. Reading Homework: Ch 10, # 2, 4, 8.
Mon Apr 17 1. Journal 4 due: How this course affected your view of math? Please discuss. (300 words)
2. Revisions of Project 2 are due.
3. Read: Ch 10, pp. 389-399.
4. RH: Ch 10, 14, 16, 20.
Mon Apr 24 1. Journal 5 due: If you were the chair of the math department,
but based on your having taken M203, what would you change about the course
and what would you keep the same? (300 words)
2. Take home quiz, Ch 10 due.
Fri Apr 28 1. Make ups for anyone who wants to make up a missed assignment,
or improve a score on an assigment. Any one of the following
items can be made up: web test 1 or 2, a journal, a take home quiz,
an in class quiz.