Prob140 (formally Statistics 140) is a probability course for Data 8 graduates who have also had a year of calculus and wish to go deeper into data science.
The emphasis on simulation and the bootstrap in Data 8 gives students a concrete sense of randomness and sampling variability. Prob140 will capitalize on this. Because of the students’ backgrounds, Prob140 will move swiftly over basics, avoid approximations that are unnecessary when SciPy is at hand, and replace some of the routine calculus by symbolic math done in SymPy. This will create time to focus on the more demanding concepts that are part of the theoretical foundations of data science.
Prob140 contents have been selected based on consultation with faculty who regularly teach Stat and CS courses in advanced statistical topics including machine learning.The mathematical level and results covered will be at least equal to those in Stat 134, the Stat department’s standard undergraduate course in classical probability theory; both courses have the same calculus prerequisite. The additional computational power in Prob140 will allow students to solve problems intractable by calculator, and to develop a more firm grasp of the concepts than they might by using math alone.
For the Statistics major and minor, and for Statistics courses numbered 135 and above, Prob140 satisfies the same requirements as Stat 134 does. If a Statistics course currently requires Stat 134, then Prob140 will fulfill that requirement too. A letter grade of B- or better in Prob140 will satisfy the corresponding Stat 134 grade requirement for entry into the Statistics major.
Other departments have yet to formalize the requirements satisfied by Prob140, but conversations have begun and I expect the process to go smoothly. In Spring 2017, the pilot semester for Prob140, students might have to petition the departments individually if the formal processes aren’t completed in time.
Can: Those who have passed Data 8 (a P grade is fine) and have had a year of calculus but have not taken Stat 134. Students can get credit for at most one of Stat 134 and Prob140.
Can’t: Those who have taken Stat 134, also those who haven’t taken Data 8 or haven’t had year of calculus. In addition, while I realize that many students on campus have taken a plenty of programming and advanced prob/stat courses, they are not the intended audience for Prob140.
It won’t be offered again in 2017. The plan is to offer it in Spring 2018. I don’t know what the schedule will be after that.