Instructor: Tim Chumley
Office: Clapp 404b
Phone: 538-2299
e-mail: tchumley
Office Hours: TBA, and by appointment

Textbook: Probability with Applications and R, by Robert P. Dobrow, ISBN: 978-1118241257;
available as a free e-text;
available on library reserve under QA276.45.R3 D63 2014


Announcements will be posted here throughout the semester.

Summer 2018: Please check back in late August 2018 for updates.


Check the syllabus for all the important class policies (grades, attendance, etc.).


There will be weekly homework assignments throughout the semester to be turned in, as well as suggested problems to be considered as additional practice.

  • Written assignments. A selection of problems taken from the textbook or other sources will be assigned to be due Wednesdays in class.
    • These assignments are given so that you can practice writing mathematics and receive feedback on your progress.
    • If you would like feedback on a particular steps in a problem, then you can indicate this on your assignment.
    • Each problem will be given a score out of 5. A score of 1 will be given to indicate that to stay on track you should get help from your instructor.
    • Please read these guidelines for writing up your homework solutions.
  • Suggested problems. The book has a good variety of problems, both in terms of content and difficulty level. As you study throughout the semester, you might consider browsing and trying the problems at the end of the chapter for extra practice. I’ll always be happy to help over email or in office hours if you’re stuck.
  • Collaboration. I want you to work together on the written homework; the process of explaining your ideas to one another really helps in learning math. However, you must write up the problems on your own, listing the people with whom you worked on the problems. Please acknowledge any source of help, including classmates or outside texts, by writing “help from …” at the top of your assignment. Also, please only write what you understand so that I know where to help.
Assignment Due
Problem set 0 Sep 7
Problem set 1 Sep 12


There will be a few quizzes during the semester. These are intended to break up the material between exams and get everyone studying. The precise sections covered will be listed below and the types of problems will be discussed in class.

Quiz Date Material Solutions
Quiz 1 TBA


There will be three exams. The dates for the two mid-terms are subject to change slightly:

Exam Date Time and Location Material Study material
Exam 1 TBA in class, take home
Exam 2 TBA in class, take home
Final Dec 14 - 18 self-scheduled

Course plan

Our plan is to cover most of chapters 1-4, 6, and parts of chapters 5, 7, 8, and 9 in the textbook. Below is a rough outline of what is to be covered week by week through the semester. Please check back regularly for precise details on what is covered, as well as postings of in-class worksheets and other activities. Also note that the days of the week under Sections in the table below provide links to class notes.

Week Sections In-class activities Problems
Sep 3 – Sep 7 Chapter 1
Sep 10 – Sep 14 Chapter 1
Sep 17 – Sep 21 Chapter 2
Sep 24 – Sep 28 Chapter 3
Oct 1 – Oct 5 Chapter 3, 4
Oct 8 – Oct 12 Monday: break
Oct 15 – Oct 19 Chapter 4
Friday: LEAP
Oct 22 – Oct 26 Chapter 5
Oct 29 – Nov 2 Chapter 6
Nov 5 – Nov 9 Chapter 6
Nov 12 – Nov 16 Chapter 6, 7
Nov 19 – Nov 22 Monday:
Wednesday: break
Friday: break
Nov 26 – Nov 30 Chapter 8
Dec 3 – Dec 7 Chapter 9
Dec 10 – Dec 14 Monday: wrap up
Wednesday: reading day
Friday: exam period begins

Getting help

Here’s a few ways to get help:

  • Office hours (listed at the top of this page). These are times I hold on my schedule to be available for students. I like to use these times as open drop in sessions where there may be multiple students getting help simultaneously, but it’s expected that you come with specific questions about notes, homework problems, or the text that you have thought about already. If you need to schedule a time to meet with me one-on-one, either to discuss something private or because you can’t make my office hours, please send me an email with times that you are available to meet, and I will find a time that works for both of us.
  • Study groups. I strongly encourage you to form small groups and work together on problems. My advice though is to try problems by yourself before discussing them. We have several spaces on the fourth floor of Clapp where students can work together for extended periods of time.


  • Our textbook has a useful collection of R scripts available here; contained there are all the R code snippets you’ll notice interspersed in the text.