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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 317L • Intro to Social Statistics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46295 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
3:30 PM-4:30 PM
BUR 224
BUR 116

Course Description

This course introduces you to the basics of both descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as the fundamentals of probability which connect the two. Descriptive statistics involves organizing and summarizing important characteristics of data sets. Inferential statistics involves making informed guesses about unknown population characteristics based on information acquired from samples. We will emphasize descriptive and inferential procedures commonly used to inform social policy. In the process, we'll examine the assumptions underlying these procedures, the types of hypotheses that can be tested by using them, and the inferences that can be drawn from their results. This course emphasizes an understanding of statistics that goes beyond simple memorization. This will be accomplished by engaging you in guided learning activities, as well providing opportunities to work with real data sets. Sociology 317L is required of all sociology majors and should be taken before 317M, which is more concerned with research design and data collection.

Grading Policy

Three non-cumulative exams 60%
Final cumulative exam 15%
Homework 25%

You're allowed four (4) absences without penalty during the semester (excluding our introductory class meeting), regardless of whether they are from lecture or lab. The non-penalized absences are intended to cover such situations as illness, family emergencies, university sponsored trips, etc. Students who acumulate more than four absences, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one full percentage points for each absence beyond the four allowed. The one exception to this policy concerns absences for religious reasons, assuming that proper, advance notification is given.


Robert Johnson and Patricia Kuby, Just the Essentials of Elementary Statistics (10th ed.), 2008


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