Syllabus for MATH 472 Section 1

Statistical Inference

Spring Semester 2019 CRN: 81073

Textbook: Mathemmatical Statistics with Applications, 6th Edition,
by Dennis Wackerly, William Mendenhall, and Richard Scheaffer
Meetings: TR, 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM in Keller 413
Instructor: Dr. George R. Wilkens
Office: Keller 308
Phone: (808) 956-4677
Hours: TR 1:30 - 2:30, and by appointment.
E-mail: grw at
Home Page:

Academic Expectations

The prerequisite for this course is a grade of "C" or better in Math 471, or consent from the instructor. Students should review the Statement of Academic Expectations. All academic work should be done with the high levels of honesty, integrity and excellence that The University of Hawai‘i demands.


The course presents the theory of statistical inference. Topics include point estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, type I error, type II error, power, efficiency, consistency, sufficiency, maximum likelihood estimators, and regression. Additional topics will be included as needed.

The course focuses on theory, but statistics is one of the primary tools for the analysis of data and we will naturally be interested in how the theory is applied. Unfortunately, one semester is not long enough to cover both theory and applications in depth, so our coverage of applications will be somewhat superficial. Those wishing to supplement this course by studying methods of data analysis will probably find the following two web sites useful:

I encourage every student to browse these web sites throughout the semester.

The exams and many of the applied homework exercises will require using inverse distribution functions to find critical values for tail probabilities from the standard probability distributions. The tables in the appendix of the textbook are sufficient for this purpose, but you will probably find it more convenient to use a calculator. Many of the modern scientific calculators can do this. I am not a calculator expert, but a quick google search led me to this (possibly) informative site
. If your calculator does not support inverse distribution functions, you may want to borrow one that does. If yours does have this capability, then be sure that you know how to use it. Otherwise, you will lose time during exams!

A calculator will be the only technology that is allowed during exams. In most other situations computer software will be very useful. A spreadsheet program (such as Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, or Numbers) has many built-in statistical functions and can be even easier to use than a calculator. Beyond spreadsheet software there is a wonderful open source program called R. I intend for us to use this program regularly for homework assignments. Please download and install R on your computer. I also highly recommend the Integraded Development Environment (IDE), RStudio Desktop (the FREE option). Among other things, RStudio provides an authoring tool, called Rmarkdown, that allows you to embed R code, R output, and LaTeX code directly into your documents. You will be amazed at how easy it is to write beautiful homework assignments.

Attendance and Grading

Regular attendance to class lectures is required. The grade will be determined by two in-class exams, a cumulative final exam, and homework. Homework assignments and due dates will be posted on the MATH 472 Homework page. Homework assignments must be legible, and you are required to use proper grammatical English and follow the guidelines for clear and concise writing. The exams and homework will be weighted as follows:

Homework 20% Grade computed from the weekly assignments
Exam 1 20% Thursday, February 21
Exam 2 20% Thursday, April 11
Final 40% Thursday, May 9, 9:45 to 11:45 AM.


You must bring your UH student ID to every test. If Keller Hall is closed for any reason, we will meet by the steps of Hamilton Library. Only documented valid health related excuses will be accepted for missing an exam.

 Last modified: Thu Jan 17 14:58:45 HST 2019

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