NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Lakner, Peter


212 998 047


MEC 8-61


Course Meetings

MWR, 3:30pm to 4:45pm

KMC 3-90


Midterm Exam: March 25th

Final Exam: May 13th

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on: February 18th (Presindent's Day)
    Spring break: March 18th Monday - March 24th Sunday


Course Description and Learning Goals

The mission of this course is the achievement of an understanding of the nature of data and of randomness in business situations.  Objectives include the control of statistical bias, data presentation, appreciation of probability and randomness, random variables, statistical inference, simple a multiple linear regression.



Course Outline

The course will cover chapters 1-11 of the textbook.

The important topics are these:

Overview of statistics (chapter 1)

Graphical descriptions such as stem-and-leaf displays, histograms, and bivariate plots;  mean, median, mode, standard deviation (chapter 2)

Basic concepts of probability (chapter 3)

Discrete probability laws, especially the binomial and Poisson (chapter 4)

Continuous probability laws, especially normal (chapter 4)

Sampling distributions, with particular attention to the sampling distribution of the sample average, the Central Limit theorem (chapter 4)

The confidence interval methodology for a single sample (chapter 5)

The hypothesis testing paradigm for a single sample (chapter 6)

The two-sample problem, confidence intervals and hypothesis tests (chapter 7)

Simple linear regression (chapter 10)

Multiple regression (chapter 11)


Required Course Materials

The easiest source for the course materials is the STAT-UB.103 bundle, sold at the uni-
versity bookstore for about $122. This bundle contains these three items:

1 Statistics for Business and Economics, by McClave, Benson, and Sincich. The publisher
is Prentice-Hall. This is a custom edition for New York University. It is a subset of the
full 11th edition, and on the cover you will see the words “...Custom Edition for New
York University”. The page numbers and exercise numbers of this customized edition are
consistent with the full 11th edition.

2 Students Solutions Manual, by Nancy S. Boudreau.

3 Minitab, student edition, which is a computer program for statistical analysis.

Buying the bundle is a genuine bargain since the full-feature MINITAB program separately
sells at an academic price of about $115. Unfortunately, MINITAB does not run on Apple
computers. However, with an Apple you can still connect to the school’s computers through
CITRIX and run MINITAB (see the details below).

Using EXCEL instead of MINITAB
for the homework assignments is acceptable. However, note that Excel is not a statistical
software, so some of the homework requirements may not be available there. Also, the
classroom demonstrations will help you find your ways in MINITAB.

Following are 5 options to access MINITAB. Note that the first 4 options are not available
for Apple users.

1. Get Student Minitab in the bundle at the university bookstore (the simplest and most
economical option).

2. Purchase the CD version of release 16 from the NYU Computer Store, about $115. Do
not purchase releases 14 or 15, unless at a very deep discount. Versions earlier than 14 are
not useful. Due to the high cost I recommend this option only to those students who will
have a need for a good statistical software beyond this class.

3. Rent Minitab release 16 for $30 for six months from www.e-academy.com/minitab.
Minitab 15 may still be available here, but you should choose 16, the newer version.

4. Download release 16 for $100 from www.e-academy.com/minitab, or mail-order it from
the same website for the same price. This is quite costly, see my remark above in point 2.

5. Use the program, release 16, for no charge through the Citrix system.
In order to use Citrix you need a Stern account. If you are registered to this course then
you already have one, even if you are not a Stern student. If you never used the Stern
account, you have to activate it. You can do so at the web site ”start.stern.nyu.edu” (do
not type www before this). The system will ask you a few questions for identification. For
NETID type your NYU net id. For the University id type in the N-number on the back
of your NYU card. For birthday include dashes.
Here is a step-by step instruction for using Citrix. When asked for user id and password,
use your Stern account.

1. First load all data files that you will need onto your C drive.
2. Citrix is reached through http://apps.stern.nyu.edu. Using your favorite browser go to
that site.
3. Use your STERN user id and password to log in.
4. You need to download a software at this point (if you have already done this then skip
this step). Click on “download”, save the file on your desktop, and run the file. If you are
using a computer in the Stern computer lab then you can skip this step.
5. Now you are (hopefully) in the main Citrix window listing various available software.
Find the icon for “Minitab 16” and click on it.
6. When Minitab opens, you will want to read a worksheet through File)Open Worksheet
or perhaps read a project thorough File)Open Project from the C drive of your computer.
In the Open Worksheet or Open Project panel click on the arrow next to “Look in”. The
C: drive on your local machine will be identified as “Local Disk C: on ...” (the ... probably
includes your user name). Click on ”Local Disk C:...”, then click on the file you want to
open. Make sure that when you are opening a data file in Minitab, in the “files of type”
field of the “Open worksheet” window “Minitab (*.MTW,*.MPJ)” shows. Now (hopefully)
you are ready to work with the file you opened.
During the above step Citrix will give you a window entitled “Client File Security”. Click
on the radio button for Full Access so that you can read and write files to the C: drive of
your computer.

If you have questions, you can also call the Stern IT help desk at 212 998-0180. Alterna-
tively, you can go personally to the IT help desk, located on the UC level of the KMEC

Course work will involve many instances of simple calculations, and for these a hand held
calculator will be helpful. The only calculator features needed for this course are the four
basic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), square roots, exponential
and logarithm. It helps if your calculator has a memory. It is not necessary (or even
desirable) to have a calculator with statistical functions such as standard deviation or

Data files:
The disk with the textbook contains data files for the examples and exercises. Files that
are necessary for completing the homework assignments will also be available on the class
Blackboard site.


Assessment Components

Homework, midterm and final examinations.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course



In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:



Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Printer Friendly Version