MATH 146 – Introduction to Statistics

In this course, we will introduce some of the more common tools for analyzing data
of several types. We are not aiming at introducing all or even most of them. The main
goal of the course is to highlight the general assumptions and methods that underlie
all statistical analysis. The purpose is to get a good understanding of the scope, and
the limitations of these methods. We also want to learn as much as possible about the
assumptions behind the most common methods, in order to evaluate if they apply with
reasonable accuracy to a given situation.

Our goal is not so much learning bread and butter techniques: these are pre-programmed
in widely available and used software, so much so that a mechanical acquisition of
these techniques could be quickly done “”on the job””. What is more challenging is the
evaluation of what the results of a statistical procedure really mean, how reliable they are
in given circumstances, and what their limitations are.