NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Simon, Gary




KMC 853


Course Meetings

MWR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

KMC 3-90

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


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. 


Course Pre-Requisites



Course Outline

The course will cover chapters 1 through 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 binomial and Poisson (chapter 4)

Continuous probability laws, especially normal (chapter 5)

Sampling distributions, with particular attention to the sampling distribution of the sample average, the Central Limit theorem (chapter 6)

The confidence interval methodology for a single sample (chapter 7)

The hypothesis testing paradigm for a single sample (chapter 8)

The two-sample problem, confidence intervals and hypothesis tests (chapter 9)

Simple (one-predictor) linear regression, including the model assumptions, estimation, hypothesis tests, predictions, and prediction intervals (chapter 12)

Multiple regression, including the model assumptions, estimation, hypothesis tests, predictions, prediction intervals, variable selection, model building, residual analysis, and the checking of assumptions (chapter 13)


Required Course Materials

The course material consists of these three items:

The text is Statistics for Business and Economics, 10th edition, by McClave, Benson, and Sincich.  The publisher is Prentice-Hall.

Student’s Solutions Manual, by Nancy Boudreau.  This has worked-through solutions to the odd-numbered problems.

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

These are available at the university bookstore.  They have been bundled as a single item in the past, and we believe that they will be similarly bundled for Fall 2010.

The text is required, and it may be available on the secondary book market.  If you search the secondary book market, please be aware that these authors have another book with a very similar title.

The Student’s Solutions Manual is not required, but you are likely to find it useful. 

Minitab adds about $   to the cost of the bundle, so it’s a genuine bargain.  The comparable program sells at an academic price of about $   , and there is a “rental” form from e‚ÄĎacademy.com which can be obtained for about $26 for five months.

The “regular” Minitab is in release 15, and the student version is based on this release.  Release 15 has many improved features, especially the graphics.  Please do not try to use earlier releases of Minitab.

The student version should not be thought of as inferior to the “regular” version.  The only material difference is that the student version is limited to five worksheets and 5,000 cells per worksheet.

The program Minitab and all the course data files will be available in the Stern computer labs.  All course data files will be available from the Stern Web site.

The spreadsheet program Excel has a number of statistical functions.  We recommend that you avoid this program for statistical applications.  While Excel’s statistical work is generally correct, there are a number of annoying errors, and the program lacks the flexibility of a full-feature statistics package.

There will be many instances of simple calculations for which a hand-held calculator will be helpful.  Calculator features that you will need are memory and square roots.  It is not necessary (or even helpful) to have a calculator with statistical functions such as standard deviation or regression.

This course will not use calculus to any appreciable degree, though it certainly exploits algebra manipulations.  These manipulations will be frequent and will occasionally be messy.


Assessment Components



Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



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.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


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.


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