Math 5010-1, University of Utah, Spring 2006

Introductory Probability: Useful Information and General Warnings

Below you can find some caveats regarding this course. The unfriendly tone of this webpage is not meant to dissuade you from taking this course. In fact, this course tends to have a very frank and friendly environment. Also, many of you are likely to find this course the intellectual highlight of your academic careers thus far.

The harsh tone is intended to drive home the idea that **this really
is a demanding course,** and requires a good background, as well as
strong interest in learning probability. In direct terms, there is no
"getting by" in this course.

For many of you, Math 5010 is your first 5000-level math course.
You would do well to know
that Math 5010 is not a natural continuation of our
3000-level probability/statistics courses. Good performance in Math
5010 requires, at the very least, a **solid** background in elementary
college-level mathematics; i.e., a year of calculus. Math 5010 does
not have a calculus primer section. If you have not had a chance to
think about your old calculus material, then it is up to you to catch up
to a level appropriate to Math 5010.

Approximately two-thirds of the problems in Math 5010 are in the "problem solving" category. Nearly one-third fits in the "concepts and theory" category. This means that unless you can solve a reasonable portion of problems in both categories, you will not receive an "A" in this course. ["Concepts and Theory" does not mean memorizing terms or such things. It means being able to think about, and work with, theoretical problems.]

There are four midterms; the lowest score can be dropped. You are
**strongly** advised to take all four.

Everyone should attempt Midterm One; it is administered during the first month of instruction. Those who perform poorly in the first exam are likely to be ill-prepared for this course and should take this course later on, after they are fully ready for it. So if you find yourself in this category, then your best odds are to drop the course. The midterm drop policy is only to help handle non-medical emergencies (such as flat tires, missing a bus, the dog needs her vet, etc.) once. This is not meant to be, nor is it, a crutch for the student who is not prepared sufficiently for this course.

155 South 1400 East, Room 102, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, Tel:+1 801 581 3896, Fax:+1 801 581 4148