NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Mantena, Ravindra




KMC 8-85


Course Meetings

MWR, 3:30pm to 4:45pm

KMC 3-90

Final Exam: Between May  9th and 15th (Exact date to be announced later)

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on: President's day (Mon., Feb 20), Spring Break (Mar. 12 - Mar. 18)
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Good decision making requires managers to collect and analyze data related to the problem and derive insight from it. The objective of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the nature of data and of randomness in business situations.  The course will also equip you with a set of concepts and tools that will help you make sense of data, explore relationships between different variables and draw conclusions from your analysis.


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 4)

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

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 (one-predictor) linear regression, including the model assumptions, estimation, hypothesis tests, predictions, and prediction intervals (chapter 10)

Multiple regression, including the model assumptions, estimation, hypothesis tests, predictions, prediction intervals, variable selection, model building, residual analysis, and the checking of assumptions (chapter 11)


Required Course Materials


1) Statistics for Business and Economics, 2nd custom edition for New York University, by McClave, Benson, and Sincich (MBS), Prentice Hall, 2011.
2) Student Solutions Manual

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 topic coverage will be similar, but the section/page number may be different.

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

Computer Software

Minitab 16 will be used as statistical software for the course. All relevant data files from MBS are on the disk included with the text and are also available at www.stern.nyu.edu/~gsimon/statdata. These will be supplemented with handouts distributed in class.

The MBS text, Students solutions manual, the Student Minitab Software and the disk with the data from MBS are sold as one package at the University Bookstore at 726 Broadway. The approximate cost is $111.

The student version should not be thought of as inferior to the “regular” version. The only meaningful difference between the Student Minitab version sold at the bookstore and Minitab 16 supported by Stern is the memory restriction of the former. For essentially all of our work the Student Minitab will have sufficient memory. The program Minitab and all the course data files will also be available in the Stern computer labs.  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

The point split among the different assessment components is as follows:

2 Mid-term exams - 50 % (2 x 25)

Homeworks - 20 %

Final exam - 30 %

The dates for the mid-term exams will be announced by the beginning of the semester. The final exam will be during the university scheduled final exam period.



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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