ECON 211: Economic Statistics Professor Vladyslav Nora Fall 2021 E-mail: Class Hours: Office Hours: TA: vladyslav.nora@nu.edu.kz M-W-F, 12.00 pm - 12.50 pm (in Zoom/recorded) Write me an email to set up an appointment in Zoom Yuliya Andrus, yuliya.andrus@nu.edu.kz Course description This course is an introduction to probability and statistics. We will learn how to think about risk and uncertainty in a systematic consistent way. It is essential for your understanding of economic theory and econometrics. The first part of the course covers the theory of probability. It gives the mathematical tools to think about uncertainty. The second part covers basic statistics. It uses the tools from probability to extract information from the data. Learning objectives ♥ Be able to solve exercises in the required textbooks and problem sets. ♥ Know key concepts, techniques, and results from the textbooks and lectures. ♥ Understand the applications and limitations of basic statistical models. Lectures and textbooks This is an online course. Week by week study plan and assignments are posted on Moodle. 1. For the first half of the course you are required to watch and take notes of the lectures by Joe Blitzstein (Harvard) available at Probability Lectures, Stat 110 (Introduction to Probability). 2. Each week we are going to have two or three Zoom sessions with more explanations, examples and practice. The recordings of our Zooms will be posted online. There are two required textbooks. 1. BH. Introduction to Probability by Joseph K. Blitzstein, Jessica Hwang (1st edition). 2. KB. Statistics for Management and Economics by Gerald Keller (11th Edition). How to study in this class The following should be your study algorithm. 1. Before each class: watch and take notes of the corresponding video lecture (mandatory for the first part of the course), read the corresponding chapter in the required textbook. 2. Zoom class: take notes and ask questions. During the class I will explain how to solve problems. I will assume that you have familiarized yourself with the theory by watching the lectures and reading the textbook. So, by the time of our Zoom session you should at least know the basic concepts and definitions. If you did not understand something from the lectures/book, then this is also the time to ask your questions. 3. After the class: solve practice problems, start solving a corresponding home assignment, post your questions to a forum on Moodle. The single most important part of this course is solving many problems on your own. There are several sources of problems (with solutions) that you should use to practice. 1. Problem sets are the main source of problems. There will be around 6 problem sets in this course. 2. Exercises after the chapters in Statistics for Management and Economics by Gerald Keller (11th Edition). These are mostly simple. 3. The collection of problems from Statistics 110 course by Joe Blitzstein, Harvard: strategic practice and solved exercises from the book. It is very important not to look in the solutions before you have tried to solve each problem. Some problems are challenging. Evaluation The evaluation is based upon the following parts. ♥ Regular submission of solutions to problem sets. Problem sets are graded on the pass/fail scale. You get pass grade if you have demonstrated effort in trying to solve most of the problems and carefully writing down your solutions. If I decide that your problem set does not meet this minimal criteria, then I give you fail. You get fail grade also if you did not submit a PS on time. If you fail more than two problem sets, then you are not admitted to the final exam and fail the entire course. All problem sets must be submitted through Moodle. In case you expect not to be able to submit a problem set on time due to illness or other valid reasons, please email us in advance. ♥ Quizzes and other assignments (45%). There will be 3 quizzes/assignments. Quizzes will take place in Moodle in real time. We might have assignments specified later in form of presentation preparation, essay, etc. The weight of each assignment/quiz will be specified later and depends on the total number of quizzes and assignments (I will try to make roughly equal weights). ♥ Midterm (25%). We will have a midterm in real time in Moodle covering the first half of the course (probability theory). ♥ Final (30%). Final in real time in Moodle will cover the second half of the course (statistics), but also will touch upon the first half. All assignments are given the adjusted scores which are later combined to obtain the total score. The course grade is obtained by averaging the adjusted scores for individual assignments using the above weights. The curving of the total score will approximately follow the target: grades in the A range (ie.’A’, ’A-’) will be given to top performing 15-20% of the students, while grades of ’F’ will be given to no more than bottom 10% of students. Attendance This course is taught online. The exams and quizzes are all conducted through Moodle. Attendance of Zoom meetings is strongly encouraged. Misconduct and academic integrity Academic and personal misconduct by any student in this course will be dealt with according to the requirements and procedures in the Student Code of Conduct of Nazarbayev University. Each case of plagiarism or cheating on any of the assignments automatically leads to a fail grade for the assignment and further disciplinary action. A violation of the exam rules specified on Moodle or orally before the exam will automatically lead to Fail grade for the exam. Prerequisites Please refresh on your own the notions of basic set theory (unions, intersections, complements and products of sets; De Morgan’s laws), basic calculus (derivatives and integrals; double integrals; Fundamental theorem of calculus; definitions of exponential; sum of geometric series; Taylor series); basic proof techniques (contradiction, induction). To test yourself, sit down and find at least two proofs that the sum of first n odd numbers is equal to n2 . Students with disabilities If you have any requests that would improve your ability to succeed in this course, email me at the start of the semester and I will do what I can to make reasonable accommodations.