BrownMath.com → Statistics → Spr15 ME50 → Opening Night
Updated 28 Dec 2014

# Thoughts on Opening Night

Summary: Welcome to MATH200! It’s a hard course, but you can do it! This page tells you what to expect and how to succeed.

• Statistics is different from your other math courses because it’s more about the thinking than the formulas. Almost all your work will be taking a situation, figuring out what kind of problem you have, and then solving it.
• Statistics isn’t a bunch of facts to be memorized like Bible verses. It’s a few main themes, so always try to identify those themes. Ask yourself how each new thing fits in with what you’ve learned already. Don’t fall back on rote memorization. Use your brain to think, not memorize.
• Make a good cheat sheet for each quiz, and test it by using it to do the homework.
• Quiz problems will not be phrased the same as homework. You won’t be able to look for key words that tell you “Oh, this is like homework problem 6.” Instead, you’ll have to think what each situation means, and apply what you’ve learned to it. Variety helps you practice. Do all the homework. Then if you need more practice, do more problems. (Baker Center tutors can suggest extra problems on a particular topic.)
• Work problems forward, not backward. Never look at the book’s answer till you have your own answer.
• Come to every class unless you’re sick or the roads are unsafe. If you do miss class, buckle down immediately and learn the material from textbook and Web site. Yes, you can ask questions, but you’re going have to do the work to catch up.
• You need your own calculator, at least “yours” for the duration of the semester. You need to read the book, and practice with the calculator, at home. You really cannot get by on borrowing a calculator for class.
• We meet only once a week and get through a chapter per class, so what you do between classes is critical. Do some statistics every day, or at least every other day. If you leave it till the last minute, or even the night before class, it will be much harder and you will be too late to get help. (Your To-Do List, the first-night handout, can guide you.)
• Use your TC3 email. Check at least every couple of days for email from me. Ask questions in email, and expect an answer within 12 hours. (If you email me after lunch on class day, I may not see it till after class.)
• Use the Baker Center when you need face-to-face time, or instant answers, or when you need help with big-picture stuff that can’t be explained well in email. Remember the option for live chat if you’re not on campus.
• Keep up with the work. If you start to get in trouble, get help right away. Don’t just drift along and hope for the best, because you’ll only get further behind.
• Read the Course Outline, and refer to it when you have questions about policies. It’s not professional to ask about policies without first checking the Course Outline, but if you’ve checked and you can’t find the answer there, please ask.