Math 343 (Phillips)

This is the home page for N. C. Phillips' Math 343 at the University of Oregon, Spring Quarter 2021.

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First read the important information about this course. Contents:

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Basic course information

This section contains administrative information. See below for information on learning objectives, the schedule, exams, homework, grading, academic conduct, course documents, and important dates.

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Learning objectives

By the end of the quarter, the successful student will have knowledge of the basic tools of statistics and the knowledge of probability theory necessary to understand basic models and tests used in statistics.

In particular, the successful student will be expected to understand the notion of a random variable and its density function and distribution function, as well as typical types of random variables used in statistics such as Bernoulli, binomial, uniform, and normal random variables. Additionally, the successful student will be expected to understand and be able to use certain quantities associated to random variables, for instance mean, variance, and percentiles, their probabilitic interpretation, and how to estimate these quantities from data.

The statistical content of the course will be mostly modeling and hypothesis testing. The successful student will have an understanding of how to model certain testing situations by various types of standard random variables, how to form hypotheses from simple data, and how to confirm or reject (as appropriatate) a hypothesis within a certain confidence interval under various assumptions on the data.

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To be filled in soon.

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The final exam is at 10:15 Monday 7 June. The midterm will be Monday 3 May, in class. (It was tentatively scheduled for Friday 30 April; changed by in class discussion Monday 26 April.)

Remaining information to be filled in soon.

Exam policies

All exams are cumulative, although they will usually emphasize the most recent material. All exams will cover material through the most recently turned in homework. All exams will be open book, and will allow calculators. No interactive help will be allowed. This applies to in person help or internet based help, including but not limited to internet searches, the posting of problems to or reading solutions from any website, etc.

At least 80% of the points on each of the midterm and the final exam will be based on homework problems (both written and WeBWorK), and on problems on separate supplementary lists (including sample exams). Written homework will contain problems of types which are good for exams but do not appear in WeBWorK. Note that numbers may be changed in these problems. Similarly variable names, function names, and names of people etc. in word problems may be changed. Examples from Math 251: f (x) = 2x^3 could become any of f (x) = -4 x^3, f (x) = 2 x^{-4}, g (x) = 2 x^3, or f (t) = 2 t^3. In Math 251, such changes might turn a local maximum into a local minimum or result in other such reversals.

Complaints about the grading of any exam must be submitted in writing by the beginning of the first class period after the class in which that exam is returned.

Except where obviously inapplicable (such as in the parts about working with other people, or where explicitly contradicted by exam instructions), the general instructions for written homework also apply to exams.


There will be two kinds of homework. Quick links: WeBWorK; list containing written homework assignments (and other documents).

Written homework

Written homework will be submitted via Canvas, usually Wednesdays. Assignments will mostly be by problem number in the book; see the list below (to be updated throughout the quarter). Most of them will probably be graded by a homework grader. Read the separate Instructions for written homework (pdf); here is a brief summary of the most important points:


Assignments using WeBWorK will be done on the internet, here. Your WeBWorK account name is your UO email account name (without the "" part), and your password is the one you use for things like University of Oregon email. Thus, if your UO email address is "" and your password is "IHateSpam", your WeBWorK account name will be "lqwang" and your password will be "IHateSpam".

Due dates for WeBWorK assignments are as specified online, and the day of the week will vary.

The login page will fail with no explanation if cookies are off, and WeBWorK will fail if JavaScript is off. (To protect privacy, I advise deleting all cookies after you are done, for this site or anywhere else. I also advise turning JavaScript off when you leave the site.) The WeBWorK home page has links to all Winter 2021 UO courses using WeBWorK, and login instructions.

Warning: In the past there have sometimes been problems with the WeBWorK server. Most such problems are fairly minor: it is down for a few hours or overnight. Occasionally there have been much more serious problems, for example, no access for a week, completed homework lost, etc. Most quarters, nothing like this happens.

Advantages of WeBWorK:

Disadvantages of WeBWorK:

Some warnings:

About the homework:

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Grading percentages

Grading percentages (still subject to change):

Course grade limited by final exam grade

The course grade will not be more than one letter grade above the final exam grade. For this purpose, scores more than one grade interval below the D/F cutoff will be considered to be "F-", and limit the final course grade to F. In particular, not taking the final exam means an F in the course, even with perfect scores on everything else.

Extra credit

There will probably be extra credit problems on the midterm and on the final exam. They will only be counted if you get a grade of 75% or better on the main part of the exam.

I will award extra credit points to the first two people who catch any particular error or misprint in the book or in any of the handouts, in particular, in solutions to midterms, homework, etc., as well as on web pages etc. (this includes broken links). The largest amount of extra credit is given for catching mathematical mistakes. You must point out exactly where the mistake is, and how it should be fixed.

Extra credit will count toward the grade only for those who consistently do the homework reasonably, and only for those whose grade in the course would be at least a B- without it.

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Academic conduct

The code of student conduct and community standards is here. In this course, it is appropriate to help each other on homework as long as the work you are submitting is your own and you understand it, and, on written homework, you give the names of any people you cooperated with. It is not appropriate to help each other on exams, to look at other students' exams, or to use unauthorized material on exams.

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Publicly available documents associated with this course

Here is a list of publicly available documents and other information associated with this course. The material is arranged in approximate chronological order: most recent items at the bottom. Links to written homework solutions, exams, and exam solutions will not work until after the corresponding written homework has been turned in or the corresponding exam has been given, and the links to sample exams and their solutions will not work until these items have been prepared.

Most files will be pdf.

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Important dates, according to the Academic Calendar at the registrar's office (not guaranteed!)

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This page maintained by N. Christopher Phillips, email. Please email plain text (7 bit ASCII) only (no web page coded files, Microsoft Word documents, binary characters, etc.; see above for more).

Last significant change: 27 March 2021.