Introduction to Probability and Statistics


    The Piazza website is: You may discuss class material and HW problems.


      There is an auxiliary web page at kcborder/Courses/Ma3/ It contains additional important information, such as lecture notes.


       Date PostedAssignment Due Date 
       Jan 7HW 0
       Jan 10, 8:00 pm
       Jan 9HW 1 Jan 15, 4:00 pm
       Jan 16HW 2 Jan 22, 4:00 pm

      Midterm and Final Exam

      Recitation Problems and Solutions


      Course Meeting Time and Location

      Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
      10:00–10:55 am
      Baxter Lecture Hall

      Thursday Recitations

      Section  Time  Location  TAs
      1  9 am  310 Linde  Bowen & Nathan
       2  10:30 am  310 Linde  Nathan & Trung
       3  1 pm  310 Linde  Alex & Praveen
       4  2:30 pm  310 Linde  Angus & Neeraja

      Course Instructor Contact Information and Office Hours

      205 Baxter Hall

      TA Contact Information and Office Hours

       TA   Time Location
       Nathan Lawless (Head TA)Friday 4 PM (by appointment)
      Monday 7 PM
       183 Linde
       Angus Gruen Thursday 5 PM 183 Linde
       Bowen Yang Thursday 6 PM 183 Linde
       Praveen Venkataramana Friday 5 PM 183 Linde
       Trung Can Friday 6 PM 183 Linde
       Alexandre Perozim de Faveri Monday 5 PM 183 Linde
       Neeraja Kulkarni Monday 6 PM 183 Linde

      Course Schedule and Textbook

      The required textbooks for the course are:

      • Jim Pitman. 1993. Probability. Springer, New York, Berlin, and Heidelberg. ISBN: 0-387-97974-8.
      • Richard J. Larsen and Morris L. Marx. 2012. An Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Its Applications, fifth edition. Prentice Hall. ISBN: 0-321-69394-9.
       Date Topic 
       Week 1     Pitman, Ch. 1, 2.1
      More detailed reading suggestions may be found in the lecture-by-lecture notes available on the auxiliary course web site.


      If you would like to serve as an ombudsperson, please let Meagan know.

       House  Name    Email (at caltech . edu) 
      FlemingMaquelle Tiffanymtiffany
      RuddockOlivia Durrettodurrett

      Course Policies

      Late Work:

      As a rule, late work is not accepted. This is to protect the TAs, who are talented hardworking students, just as you are. At the discretion of the Head TA, late homework turned in after the 4:00 pm deadline, but before the grading has begun will be accepted with a 20% penalty. If there are extenuating circumstances, you must notify the Head TA by midnight the night before it is due and you must get a note from the from the Dean supporting the extension. Note that your worst homework will not be used to calculate your grade.


      Your course grade will be based on the weekly homework (40%), the midterm (25% or 35%), and the final (35% or 25%). The weights on the final and midterm will put the greater weight on the better exam. Note: Each part, homework, midterm, and final, are normalized to 100 points before the average is calculated.  The worst homework will be discarded.

      This year I am continuing the following practice. Each assignment will contain zero or more optional exercises. They are optional in the following sense: Grades will calculated without taking the optional exercises into account, but the maximum grade will be an A. If you want an A+, you will have to earn an A and also accumulate sufficiently many optional points. No collaboration is allowed on optional exercises.

      As this course may only be taken for a letter grade, no one will be excused from the final.


      Homework will be typically be due at 4:00 pm on Tuesdays in the appropriate homework box (math boxes on the first floor of Linde Hall). (Assignment 0 is a major exception.) Problems (and later solutions) will be posted on this course webpage. You are encouraged to start the homework well in advance of the due date in order not to risk missing the deadline. Homework is turned in to locked boxes, so it can safely be submitted as soon as it is completed.


      Collaboration is allowed on the homework, but your write-up must be in your own words and may not be copied. The exception is that no collaboration is allowed on optional exercises. Collaboration is not allowed on the exams. Please ask for clarification if anything is unclear.

      Collaboration Table

        Homework Exams
      You may consult:    
      Course textbook (including answers in the back) YES YES
      Other books YES NO
      Solution manuals NO NO
      Internet YES NO
      Your notes (taken in class) YES YES
      Class notes of others YES NO
      Your hand copies of class notes of others YES YES
      Photocopies of class notes of others YES NO
      Electronic copies of class notes of others YES NO
      Course handouts YES YES
      Your returned homework / exams YES YES
      Solutions to homework / exams (posted on current webpage) YES YES
      Homework / exams of previous years NO NO
      Solutions to homework / exams of previous years NO NO
      Emails from TAs YES NO
      You may:

      Discuss problems with others YES NO
      Look at communal materials while writing up solutions YES NO
      Look at individual written work of others NO NO
      Post about problems online NO NO
      For computational aids, you may use:

      Calculators YES* YES*
      Computers YES* YES*

      * You may use a computer or calculator while doing the homework, but you must justify and explain the calculations you ask it to perform.  Submitting a printout from Mathematica without explanation does not constitute an acceptable answer.

      Nathan Lawless,
      Jan 18, 2019, 5:47 PM
      Nathan Lawless,
      Jan 18, 2019, 3:55 PM