Here's something you might see in the newpaper: 43% of Canadians say they will vote for the Liberal Party in the next election; this result was accurate with a margin of error of 3.5% 19 times out of 20. What does that actually mean? How did the polling firm determine how many people had to be surveyed to guarantee that amount of accuracy? How should such a poll be done?

Or suppose a company is producing batteries. It introduces a change in manufacturing process it hopes will increase battery life.  After a run of 15000 new batteries is produced, the company selects 50 of them to test, and finds that the life of the 50 batteries has increased by an average of 10%. Is the company justifed in concluding that the average battery life of the whole run of 15000 has increased by 10%?

Consider the following system of components. Components 1 and 2 are connected in parallel so that the subsystem works if either 1 or 2 works; components 3 and 4 are connected in series so that the subsystem works if both 3 and 4 work. If each component works with probability 0.9 and they work independently of one another, what is the probability that the entire system works?

Math 270 provides the mathematical and conceptual tools to answers questions like those, and the many other  such questions that arise whenever data needs to be collected and analyzed and used to make decisions, test a hypothesis, or build a business case  (i.e. in almost any area of science, technology, industry or business!) It's an introductory statistics course designed for students with calculus background, and serves as an important "gateway" course for many upper-level statistics courses.



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