This course gives an introduction to statistics. Main themes are descriptive statistics, probability and hypothesis testing. Formulas and formal procedures play an important role, but the emphasis is on developing statistical literacy and critical thinking.

Course content

  • Probability. Basic definitions. Limits of relative frequencies.
  • Introduction to Monte Carlo simulation.
  • Random variables and their distributions. Approximating distributions through Monte Carlo simulations: Histograms as approximations to densities.
  • The law of large numbers and the central limit theorem illustrated through Monte Carlo simulations.
  • Confidence intervals and hypothesis testing in large samples. A brief summary of the t-test under normality assumptions.
  • Correlation and simple linear regression.
  • Assessing the performance of statistical procedures using Monte Carlo simulations.


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