This page serves as the syllabus for this course.
Additional readings will be made available for download from the course website.
This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.
This course carries the Independent Inquiry flag. Independent Inquiry courses are designed to engage you in the process of inquiry over the course of a semester, providing you with the opportunity for independent investigation of a question, problem, or project related to your major. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from the independent investigation and presentation of your own work.
Assignments will be updated on the assignments page. There will be 4 assignments. A tentative schedule for the entire semester is posted on the schedule page. Readings and exercises may change up one week in advance of their due dates.
This is an Independent Inquiry course in which students do a course project that uses statistical analyses on linguistic data. Requirements for the course project are: a short initial project description, an intermediate project report, a final project report, and a short in-class presentation. More details on the project requirements, as well as suggestions for project topics, are listed on the assignments page.
This course does not have a midterm or final exam.
Attendance is not required. However, given that we will do a lot of hands-on exercises in class, and homework and projects address the material covered in class, good attendance is essential for doing well in this class.
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to statistics that is hands-on, making extensive use of the R statistics package in class, and that is driven by questions and data sets from linguistics, such as: Do women produce more words than men do? Does it matter whether you say "I gave Mary the book" or "I gave the book to Mary"? Can you tell, from the way a wine is described, whether it is expensive or cheap? The course draws heavily on the "breakfast experiments" of Language Log, a linguistics blog that sometimes has small statistical analyses for whatever language-related questions come up. This course will introduce fundamental concepts that will enable students to formulate quantitatively-oriented questions and answer them with appropriate visualization, modeling, and testing.
A detailed schedule for the course, with topics for each lecture, is available at the schedule page, which forms part of the syllabus.
By default, course projects should be done by teams of 2 students; however, projects done by 1 or 3 students are possible with prior approval
of the instructor.
Final grades will use plus/minus grades.
If you turn in your assignment late, expect points to be
deducted. Extensions will be
considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you anticipate that you will need an extension for some assignment, let me know in advance.
By default, 5 points (out of 100) will be deducted for lateness, plus an additional 1 point for every 24-hour period beyond 2 that the assignment is late. For example, an assignment due at 2pm on Tuesday will have 5 points deducted if it is turned in late but before 2pm on Thursday. It will have 6 points deducted if it is turned in by 2pm Friday, etc.
Even if you are late for some assignment, you should definitely turn it in, and you will get some credit for your work, even though some points may be deducted. But it is crucial for your learning progress that you do all the coursework.
You are encouraged to discuss assignments with classmates. But all written work must be your own. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, ask the instructor.
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Please contact the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/
By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.