MATH 108 Fall 2009 Syllabus


Dr. Sean Ho
(604) 513-2121 x3209, Neufeld 5
Office hours: MW 4-5pm, T 12-1pm, R 1-3pm
Class location:
TR 08:00-09:15, Neu 13


This course is an introduction to applied statistics addressed, in particular, to students specializing in the field of nursing. The focus is on developing the conceptual aspects of the subject rather than the mathematical foundations and assumes no prerequisite except elementary algebra. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, the normal, t-, chi-square and F-distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, ANOVA. Applications are directed towards health and biological studies.


By the end of the course students should be able to
  • understand the principles underlying statistical procedures
  • use the most common statistical tools
  • demonstrate the use of statistical reasoning in health and biological sciences


A minimum of C in BC Math , Principles of Mathematics 11. Note that credit cannot be obtained for both MATH102 and MATH108. Students with a weak math background or who have not taken a math class for a number of years will need to catch up on their own and perhaps find a private tutor (see TWUSA). Note: this course is designed for Nursing students only! If you are not in the Nursing program, you will need to get permission from the instructor to enroll; priority must be given to nursing students, and the class is usually very full.


Samuels and Witmer, Statistics for the Life Sciences (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, 2003. ISBN 0-13-041316-X . This text should be available at the campus bookstore. It is important to use the correct edition; however, we have been using the same edition for the past few years.


Letter grade assignment follows the TWU percentage to grade equivalents except that >=85% and <95% is an A; 95% and above is an A+.
Homework 20% Weekly (10 total)
Midterm 1 20% Thu 15 Oct
Midterm 2 20% Thu 19 Nov
Final Exam 40% Tue 15 Dec 9-12am (tentative)


  1. Homeworks are due by the start of class each Thursday. NO LATE HOMEWORKS except for extenuating circumstances. Homework turned in after the start of class up to 5pm on the due date (including coming to class late) will be penalized 10%; after that they will not be accepted and will receive a zero mark. If you are turning your homework late, it is your responsibility to ensure I get it. Late homeworks forfeit the expectation of prompt feedback -- the TA may take as long as he/she needs to mark late homeworks. If you cannot come to class to turn in your homework, have a friend hand it in for you or make prior arrangements with the instructor.
  2. Note that only a few questions from each homework will actually be marked. Study groups are encouraged, but the final draft that you hand in must be your own work. All work must be shown for full marks.
  3. A scientific calculator is required; graphing or special statistical functions are not required. Please have a separate calculator from your cell phone or PDA, since these are not allowed during exams. Sharing of calculators during exams is not permitted.
  4. During in-class quizzes/exams, all of the following are not permitted and should be left in your closed/zipped bag and put on the floor:
    • Textbooks, notes, cell phones (turn off), laptops, PDAs, electronic dictionaries
    Your desk should be clear except for your pencil/pen and calculator.
  5. Students who miss more than 25% of class sessions may be barred from taking the final exam [2009-2010 Academic Calendar p.38].
  6. In case of inclement weather, the TWU campus conditions will be announced on local radio stations and posted on the TWU website at
  7. H1N1 flu note: If you begin experiencing H1N1 flu symptoms, you are advised to self-isolate (stay at home) until 24hrs after your fever has left. In the unlikely event that circumstances cause a major disruption in the face-to-face delivery of our course, every effort will be made to ensure the completion of course learning outcomes. We may need to rely on electronic media such as myCourses, this website, and email, so please make sure you check these regularly. For more details:
  8. Academic integrity is a core value of the entire TWU community. This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding all forms of plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism is using someone else's work without attribution. In this course, if you do it once you will get a zero, if you do it again you will automatically fail the course. Any such cases also go into the University's files for future reference; TWU has a strict policy concerning plagiarism. A tutorial describing plagiarism and how to avoid it has been prepared by TWU Librarian William Badke: (PPT file), (14 min flash), (8 min flash)