MTH222 - Version: Spring 2004

Location: Lazenska 4 Campus. Room: 001 Time: Thursdays 2:45 - 5:30 pm.

Course Description:

This course is a combination of a standard college-level business statistics course (partly modelled on one taught at University of Northumbria) and a group project in which students are required to use the techniques learnt in class in conducting their own rudimentary statistical survey on a topic of their interest. This may be a business related matter or it may be an opinion poll on any general issue of public interest.

In this way, the students should learn not only to read and use secondary statistics in their future business but also supervise the production of their own figures. Consequently, great emphasis is placed on understanding the numerous problems involved in collecting, processing and interpreting data. This should make the students most sceptical when accepting other people's figures. The practical experience gained when doing the group project should also make them aware that business statistics is far from an exact science.

Required Text:

A. Francis: Business Mathematics and Statistics, DP Publications (referred to as Francis)

Available for loan for the whole semester. Should be used as a reference text. Completion of exercises indicated below is a minimum prerequisite for passing the final exam. Answer key to questions is available in the book.

Additional Reading:

Durrell Huff: How to Lie with Statistics, Penguin Paperbacks

This is an easy-to-read book for the general public describing on a multitude of amusing examples the pitfalls of doing statistical work, as well as some of the tricks professionals often do in order to get the desired figures. Highly recommended.

Order from Barnes and Noble

F Owen, R Jones: Statistics, Pitman
M Silver: Business Statistics, Mc Graw Hill
D.J. Booth: A FIRST Course in Statistics, DPP
Robert Johnson: Elementary Statistics, PWS Kent, Boston

These four are standard college textbooks of business statistics providing easy-to-understand explanation of the most commonly used techniques along with examples and exercises. A suitable complement to Francis.

J Curwin & R Slater: Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions
This one is a comprehensive course covering all that a business student should know about mathematics. It is designed for the brighter students.

H W Kushner, G De Maio Understanding BASIC STATISTICS
Some of the material used in class comes from this book.

Other Requirements:

Calculator: Students must have a reliable calculator available throughout the semester and during the exam. Most exercises cannot be done without one. The calculator must be able to handle the four basic arithmetical operations and the square root. Some calculators have a large selection of built-in statistical functions. However, the student must know how to work with these. I recommend a simple calculator with large buttons for quick work.

Pens, pencils, ruler: The coursework comprises a lot of faily complicated graphs and diagrams, and therefore, it is necessary to use a ruler and pencils of several different colors. This is particularly important at the exam.

Course Methodology

Students are warned to arrive on time. If you miss the introduction into the subject matter at the beginning of class, you will not be able to do the exercises later on.

Weekly sessions usually commence with a brief review of the material covered in the previous week(s).

Then the lecturer introduces new concepts and techniques to be practiced. It is absolutely essential that all students understand this part in full. Therefore, questions are encouraged at any time. Numerous examples will be given to illustrate each step in the methodology as well as the overall practical usefulness of each statististical technique with its applications in business.

After the break, which is restricted to fifteen minutes only, the second half of each session will be devoted primarily to exercises. You are expected to do all the exercises contained in this package in class, preferably on your own. The lecturer may check your results and give help and advice. Twice in the course of the semester, the lecturer will collect your answers to get some feedback on your progress. This is called a Minitest although the result does not affect your final grade.

Discussion of the Group Project will proceed continually upon students´ request.

The last session before the final exam is reserved for Revision. The students are encouraged to bring with them all their problems they have encountered while doing their exercises or working on their group project so that the lecturer may help. The remaining time will be spent on an overview of the whole course in preparation for the exam.

In your spare time, you are expected to do exercises in Francis, in particular those that are listed below. The correct answers are indicated at the back of the book. Remember that the more practice you get doing the exercises the faster you will be able to work at the exam, so you are advised to look for additional exercises in the textbooks mentioned above as Additional Reading. There are many more business statistics textbooks in the library that you can also check.

Internet Resources

There are many online courses of Introductory Statistics available. Here are a few examples:

1. Southwest Missouri State University
2. David Lane at Rice University
3. SurfStat Australia
4. Delta by Ernest R. House
5. StatSoft, inc.
6. Prof. Hossein Arsham