Introductory Statistics

Statistics have proved to be an important research tool in nearly all of the physical, biological, and social sciences. The rising stature of statisticians is a byproduct of the recent explosion of digital data. In field after field, computing and the Web are creating new realms of data to explore. It is the size of the data sets on the Web that opens new worlds of discovery, and the digital data surge only promises to accelerate.

See also: For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: StatisticsNew York Times, August 2009

MATH 1710 - Statistical Theory and Application in the Real World

The introductory statistics course MATH 1710 discusses techniques for analyzing data occurring in the real world and the mathematical and philosophical justification for these techniques. The course, which is somewhat comparable to the AP statistics curriculum but naturally operates on a higher level, is offered in the fall and spring semester and is open to freshmen. It can be applied to the Arts & Sciences MQR distribution requirement, the CALS quantitative literacy requirement, and the mathematics requirement for the biology major.

Those who are uncertain of their high school math background may benefit from taking MATH 1102 before attempting an introductory statistics course.

What Sets MATH 1710 Apart from Other Introductory Statistics Courses

  • Solid coverage of many basic techniques without emphasizing a particular discipline.
  • Somewhat greater emphasis on probability and the logic behind basic techniques.
  • Extensive use of the statistical software JMP.

Advanced Placement

  • Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the CEEB Statistics exam (excluding engineering and hotel students) receive credit for one semester of statistics and placement out of AEM 2100, BTRY 3010, PAM 2100, ILRST/STSCI 2100, and MATH 1710.
  • Students who receive AP credit for statistics will forfeit that credit if they take AEM 2100, BTRY 3010, HADM 2010 (formerly 2201), ILRST/STSCI 2100, MATH 1710, or PAM 2100.

Transfer Credit

The Mathematics Department will award transfer credit for an introductory statistics course only if it is a satisfactory equivalent to MATH 1710 offered by a mathematics or statistics department.  (See Transferring Credit from Another Institution.)  If the course is offered by a social science department (such as psychology or sociology), it must be approved by the corresponding social science department at Cornell.

More Advanced Courses in Statistics and Probability

Students who have had some calculus and are more interested in the mathematical background of statistics, including probability, may take the following without loss of AP credit:

  • MATH 4710-4720: Basic Probability and Statistics
  • MATH 4740: Stochastic Processes
  • BTRY 3080: Probability Models and Inference & BTRY 4090: Theory of Statistics
  • ECON 3130: Statistics and Probability