NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Summer 2011

Instructor Details

Lakner, Peter


1 212 998 0476


KMC 8-61


Course Meetings

MW, 9:00am to 11:55am

Tisch T-UC19

First Class:  May 23rd, Monday

Last Class:  June 29th, Wednesday

Midterm Exam:  June 13th, Monday

Final Exam:  June 29th, Wednesday

Schedule exception:   Class will not meet on May 30th, Monday.


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,
and statistical inference.


Course Pre-Requisites

V63.0121, Calculus 1


Course Outline

Course topics:

This course will not use calculus to any appreciable degree, though it certainly exploits algebraic manipulations.

The course will cover chapters 1-7 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 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)


Required Course Materials

Course materials:

The easiest source for the course materials is the STAT-UB.0001 bundle, sold at the uni­versity bookstore. This bundle contains these three items:

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

Students Solutions Manual, by Nancy S. Boudreau.

Minitab, student edition, which is a computer program for statistical analysis. This is compatible with Minitab release 14.

Minitab adds about $10 to the cost of the bundle, so it’s a genuine bargain. The compa­rable full-feature program sells at an academic price of about $110. If you choose not to buy the STAT-UB.0001 bundle, you will still need to acquire the textbook. Owning the Students Solutions Manual and Minitab may be convenient to you, but it is not critical for completing this class. Only a very few homework assignments will require the use of Minitab.

There are a number of options for accessing Minitab.

1.    Get Student Minitab in the bundle at the university bookstore (extra cost is $10).

2.    Purchase the CD version of release 16 from the bookstore, about $115. Do not purchase releases 14 or 15, unless at a very deep discount. Versions earlier than 14 are not useful.

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

4.    Rent release 16 for $50 for twelve months from www.e academy.com/minitab. Minitab 15 may still be available here, but you should choose 16, the newer version.

5.    Use the program, release 16, for no charge through the Citrix system. If you do this, please be aware that (a) you may have connection problems at times, and (b) you may find file management challenging.


Here is a step-by step instruction for using Citrix.

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.    You need to download a software at this point (if you have already done this then skip steps 3a-3g).

3a. Click on the magnifying glass symbol next to the word “Applications”.

3b. A new window will open up. Click on “Detect clients”.

3c. Click on “Download”.

3d. Click on “Save file”

3e. Run the file that you saved.

3f. Click on “next” whenever it is offered, and click on “finish”.

3g. Now you are back to the original Citrix window. Click on “successful”.

4.    On the right side of the window find “Minitab 16” and click on it.

5.    When Minitab opens, you will want to read a worksheet through File Open Work­sheet or perhaps read a project thorough File Open Project. 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.

6.    In the Open Worksheet or Open Project panel, the C: drive on your local machine will be identified as “C$ on ‘Client’ (V:)”. The folder called “OS(C:)” is NOT your ‘C’ drive, it is the host’s ‘C’ drive. Also, the “Desktop” is the host’s Desktop, not your local Desktop. 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.

If you are using a computer in the Stern computer lab, or any other computer at Stern that is connected (either wired or wireless) to the Stern system, then you can skip steps 3-3g. After step 2 you will be directed to the site which lists various software available on the Stern computers.

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.

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 root, 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 regression.

Data files:

The disk with the text 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

Midterm/Final Exams, homework assignments



The grade will be based on a combination of three inputs: the midterm exam (40%), the final exam (50%), and the homework assignments (10%). The final exam is cumulative. Exams will be in-class. Homework assignments will be posted on Blackboard.



Class attendance is mandatory.  Exceptions can be made for medical, religious reasons or for very important events.


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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