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Advanced Topics in Math

Teacher: Joe Ochiltree [Various details redacted]

Fall Semester – 2012

Welcome back! I’m very excited to have you in class this year. Why am I so excited? Well, for one I usually get excited about teaching about teaching math, but also because we get to study some of the most interesting “math stuff” this year as a part of the class called “Advanced Topics in Math”. For the first semester we will focus on statistics; the second semester will include other topics based on student interest. During Fall 2, you will probably be able to choose your math class from a list of options. So… what is statistics? Glad you asked! Statistics is the use of numbers to explain our world. People use statistics to show evidence for scientific discoveries, to save lives with new medicine, to put together the best baseball team without spending too much money. Politicians use statistics to try to make you vote for them. Business leaders use statistics to make more money for their companies, and they use statistics to lie about how much money they make so they can make more money. So statistics is very useful. Sounds kinda interesting. Totally. There are many flavors of statistics, but it basically comes down to “representing data” and “making inferences”. You will make graphs and tables to represent real data. You will use mean, median, interquartile range, and standard deviation to estimate population percentages. You will search for meaning behind the data, and make models that are used to predict the future and understand the present. Your math problems will come from the real world, and you will use the same tools as the professionals to find the solutions.

“Of students surveyed, 64% prefer English and 32% prefer math. The fact that these numbers do not add up to 100 may help explain why.”

Advanced Topics in Math

Fall Semester – 2012

KEY CONCEPTS IN STATISTICS: REPRESENTING DATA and MAKING INFERENCES
GRAPHS +Use dot plots, histograms, and box plots to represent data. +Interpret the shape of graphs. +Identify and explain outliers. TABLES +Use tables to clearly represent data (including a variety of types: multivariable, stem and leaf, frequency, twoway frequency) STATISTICAL MEASURES +Use appropriate statistical measures (median, mean, interquartile range, standard deviation) for multiple data sets. +Fit data to a normal distribution and estimate population percentages. SEARCH FOR TRENDS +Recognize possible associations and trends in the data. +Fit a function to data and use the function. +Interpret linear models - slope, intercept, and correlation coefficients. +Distinguish between correlation and causation. MODEL +Produce and evaluate models. +Discuss sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies. +Develop margin of error through the use of simulation models for random sampling.

Advanced Topics in Math

Fall Semester – 2012

Rules and Regulations
Standard Materials: 1. Math Notebook 2. Math Folder 3. Pencil and Eraser 4. Brain Which one is most important?

The Most Important Rule
RESPECT one another. We are all equal human beings in this class, and we can learn together and teach each other. And it can be fun.

Grading
When you look at your grade, you should be able to tell which topics you’re mastered, and what you need to improve. You will use Engrade to track your progress in the class (you'll get logon information later).

Homework
Homework is a challenge and an adventure. My theory is that homework should give a chance to apply what you learned that day, as well as a chance to ask questions about what you don’t understand and expand your knowledge, your language abilities, your thinking abilities, etc.

Attendance and Lateness Policy
In this class, you will have an "Attendance Grade." The Attendance Grade is worth 10% of your overall grade. You start each semester with 100 points, and if you never have an unexcused absence or lateness, it will remain this way! However, here's what will happen if something happens: • Each unexcused lateness will decrease your Attendance Grade by 1 point. • Each unexcused absence will decrease your Attendance Grade by 3 points.

Plagiarism
When you turn in work to a teacher, he or she expects that the work represents your original thoughts about a topic. If the ideas on your paper actually came from another source, like a friend's paper, website, or book, then these ideas have to be cited. If there is no citation, then it is considered plagiarism, and it will automatically receive a failing grade with possible disciplinary action.