Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I hate stat class

  1. Feb 1, 2006 #1
    Would it be wrong if I dropkicked my stat professor in the head?

    This guys not teaching us jack @$%*! We have had 4 lectures as of tomorrow, and he has already assigned us three chapters. Chapter 1 is 51 pages, chapter 4 is 108 pages, and chapter 2 is 104 pages. :eek: He just shows some horrible power point slides, rambles on about nothing and wastes our time. He can’t seriously want us to read these chapters in their entirety. This is going to be a longggggggggg semester. Someone do me a favor and drop kick ME in the head. Now im looking through his power point notes he has posted online, where were these in class? This has to be a joke............................im going to be sick. Man, im going to have to read my ass off all the rest of the week. This is just STUPID. The guy obviously doesn't give a damn about teaching this class. Why do I have to pay tuition for this crap?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2006 #2

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Only three chapters for 4 lectures? And you're complaining? How often does the class meet? Unless it's daily, that sounds like a standard college level course requirement. In all the math and science courses I took in college, we typically covered a chapter in one to two lectures. Certainly the pace was faster in the beginning when the material was still fairly simple, and then slowed more toward the end when the material got more difficult and required a bit more time to cover in lecture. The first few chapters in a typical stats course are usually a pretty boring review for most people...all that easy stuff you've been doing since you were in Algebra I in junior high school, like defining sets and simple probability (rolling dice type questions). Then again, I loved stats. The undergrad level course I took as a grad student (because I didn't take it as an undergrad), was ridiculously easy, and then I took a more advanced graduate level course on experimental design, which was also pretty easy, except for the bit on orthogonal contrasts, which for some reason, really threw me for a loop and lost me nearly 25% of my grade on the first exam (there were only 4 questions with something like parts a through m, and I could NOT figure out how to get the first part, so for all the remaining parts, couldn't do anything more than show how I would do the work if I had the values from the first part to plug in...oh well, at least I got full credit on the other three questions, and managed to do fairly well the rest of the semester). I really liked my professor for it though, he was one of the few statisticians I've met who can really explain things in plain English. He was the statistician whose job was to do consulting for our experiment station as well, so it made the class more relevant for me, because he used a lot of examples from agricultural applications, which is where a lot of the names of these designs came from. He, and my research mentor, also helped me understand the syntax of the commands used in SAS...that "cards" command makes a whole lot more sense when you realize it originates from the days when they used punch cards to enter the data.
     
  4. Feb 1, 2006 #3
    We meet two times a week. So tomorrow is the 4th time we meet. The first day all he did was talk about nothing, literally. He was like this is what stat is all about, stat this is what I did my research in. Bla bla bla. It would be nice if his syllabus was not so vague as just to have the chapters, but what sections at least, or say all sections. The most hes done is show us some bell curves, and put up definitions and talk about what variation is. Wow, hes spending most of the class talking about discrete vrs continous data sets.... what a waste of class time. Its an ME requirement, so I have to take it, and hes the ONLY person that teaches it and its the ONLY time its offered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  5. Feb 1, 2006 #4

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's a shame. I loved stats. My teacher was a free wheeling Psych PhD who lives on a boat at the marina just down the way from me. We called him Cap'n Bob. He's a hoot - I've even gone out drinking martinis with him!
     
  6. Feb 1, 2006 #5

    JasonRox

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The average length of a chapter is about 30 pages in a math textbook. To read 100 pages is quite a bit, but then it's stats, so it's probably all examples that take up 5 pages.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That actually does sound like the standard first few lectures of any stats course. It just brings everyone up to speed on the basics. It should pick up from there though. If you aren't taking stats for stats majors, but just the ones offered for other science majors, it's going to be a really easy course if you're at all mathematically inclined. I couldn't figure out why people struggled so much with it; I thought it was one of those courses that should be an easy A for everyone. The challenge isn't in performing the statistical analysis, but in learning which analysis to use. For the stuff in an intro stats course, you can usually create a flow chart to follow and be pretty well set. That's what I did.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  8. Feb 1, 2006 #7

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, and I took plenty of biology courses that met twice a week and covered a 60 page chapter of dense text for each class. It's not really an unreasonable requirement in college at all.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2006 #8
    My friend is a biomajor. He has to deal with that. I can't process that much information and retain it in such a short time span. I read slow to understand. I just think he should at least be going over the material in the book, and not spending so much time talking about nonsense. He spent almost 15 mins on discrete and continous data sets. The class is only an hour 15. As in, give me examples of each.............aye! Then he let us out 10 mins early at the end??????????????? So thats 25 mins of doing NOTHING.....
     
  10. Feb 1, 2006 #9

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    And what's in the chapters? Probably lots of examples of discrete and continuous data sets. :biggrin: That's an important concept throughout statistics. Even if you grasped it quickly, so were bored by it, it's one of those things worth spending time on to ensure the entire class knows it, because it's key to ensuring you're choosing the correct analysis for your data later one. The same is true for random vs fixed variables.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  11. Feb 1, 2006 #10
    Chapter 1: Introduction
    sampling
    summary statistics
    graphical summaries

    Chapter 2: Probability
    Introduction
    Basic Ideas
    Counting Methods
    Conditional Probability and Independence
    Random Variables
    Linear functions of random variables
    Jointly distributed random variables

    Chapter 4:
    Introduction
    The bernoulli distribution
    The binomial distribution
    the possion distribution
    some other discrete distributions
    the normal distribution
    the lognormal distribution
    the exponential distribution
    the gamma and weibull distributions
    probability plots
    the central limit theorem
    simulation
     
  12. Feb 1, 2006 #11
    Yeah Jason is right: the examples in your book probably have huge lists of data and plots, and then the formulas, so that will take up a ton of space. I am not sure what level of statistics you are taking, but here there is a freshman statistics class, and then the general engineering statistics class. I am taking the general engineering stats class and we have yet to cover a whole chapter, so far we have covered 5 sections, each section maybe 5 pages long. Also, I tutor the freshman statistics class and they have already gone through 3 chapters, not as long as yours though, maybe 30-40pages/chapter.


    edit... You have covered every one of those sections already? We have done what is basically the first 5 sections of chapter 2 in your book. I personally feel that the class is going a little slow, but what you have convered is a ton of material.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  13. Feb 1, 2006 #12
    My books is called: Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, William Navidi

    [​IMG]

    The class is stat ME392

    The only thing he covered was continous vs discrete distribution............I guess the rest is for us to fend for ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  14. Feb 1, 2006 #13

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Okay, now that you listed what's in each of those chapters, that does seem like a lot to cover. Your first 4 chapters cover what the first 8 chapters of my stats text covered (I just looked). Then again, that's the stuff I thought we covered rather slowly, but nonetheless, if you're not covering any of that in the lectures, just in the text, that's a lot to learn on your own (and rather important concepts to be left to fend for yourself on too). Well, I guess we'll be seeing you in the homework help zone. :biggrin:
     
  15. Feb 1, 2006 #14
    <Cyrus, 02-02-06 RIP>

    Ok, I know everyone is lined up to piss on my grave, but at least give me a minute to stretch so I can start rolling over and not pull something.


    Moonbear, it would not be so bad if he bothered to go over it in SOME detail in class. I think this class is video fed to another school as well. At least they can turn him off.

    Honestly, how the HELL do you memorize all that information for biology. Ive seen my friends bio-chem books, its CRAZY!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  16. Feb 2, 2006 #15

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Let's just say I didn't go to many parties while in college. Somehow you manage. Once you've got the basics, you just build up from there, and when you grasp the concepts and really understand them, it's not memorization anymore. Biochem was the memorization part...I don't know how many times I had classes that started off with "memorize all the amino acid structures." :rolleyes: Some things like that just shouldn't have to be memorized. Any normal person just looks them up when they need it later on, after you've purged that information from memory 5 minutes after the exam has ended. You learn to read quickly for the main gist and just to go back through again to focus on the key details once you've got the overall picture in mind.

    Somewhere along the way, you learn it. I remember sitting in my Freshman classes thinking I knew so little and would never know as much as my professors did, and didn't know how they remembered so much when they taught the classes, and really thought I was going to drown in all the material that seemed so far over my head. Now I am one of those professors and sometimes do marvel at just how and when I managed to get everything to stick in my brain that has. Of course, it means I can't remember simple things any more, like to take my lunch with me after I make it in the morning. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  17. Feb 2, 2006 #16

    JasonRox

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You have acquired wisdom for biology. :biggrin:

    Hey, I ask the same question to the one kid at work on how he remembers all the basketball stats. He will remember like the first 30-50 draft picks for the past 5 years, and usually where they are from too!

    The point is... if it's fun, it's just going to come naturally, but also you want to understand it too of course.
     
  18. Feb 2, 2006 #17
    I finished Chapter 1, hooray!

    Chapter 4 is staring me in the face for tomorrow, :frown:
     
  19. Feb 2, 2006 #18

    Mk

    User Avatar

    Who was it? Bohr that said something like: "If I knew particle physics would be stamp collecting, I would have gone into botany or biology!"
     
  20. Feb 2, 2006 #19

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I am giving myself a stat course in about a week because I have to do a statistical analysis, and I haven't done one in years (decades). :biggrin: I picked up one text, Mendenall and Sincich, "Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences," but I think I'll check out the one Cyrus posted.

    I have to take several related populations (y vs x) and figure out best fit and standard deviation as a function of 'x'. The problem is that there are other variables which influence the dependent variable, but those are uncontrolled or unknown, although I think I can figure our trends based on my experience.

    Thanks for the thread Cyrus. Good luck!

    Oh, and I started the day with a hard-drive crash - looks like boot sector is corrupted or head got damaged. :grumpy:
     
  21. Feb 2, 2006 #20

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ch. 4 is entirely non-trivial. An entire semester can be spent on that chapter alone, so I hope your prof. will take at least a couple of (2 hr) lectures going over it.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: I hate stat class
  1. I hate this (Replies: 77)

  2. I hate LaTex! (Replies: 17)

  3. I hate axiomatics (Replies: 28)

  4. I hate the word 'theory' (Replies: 29)

Loading...