The primary objective of this course is to make students statistically literate. By developing the ability to identify the various representations and misrepresentations of statistical data, a student should be able to distinguish between valid and invalid arguments in order to arrive at an informed judgment. After completing this course, students should be able to read critically and understand reports of experiments and surveys that are published in newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and the Internet. The constant focus of this course is for students to understand the importance of statistical data analysis and decision-making.
The course is taught in a lecture-discussion setting. Newspaper and magazine articles with considerable information on how methods of statistics are used or misused will be provided to the students to facilitate classroom discussion. Projects may be assigned in which the students carry out small-scale surveys, experiments or data analysis.