This is the course website for MATH 350 - Introduction to Probability and Statistics course taught by Dr. Robin Donatello in Spring 2022 at California State University, Chico. This landing page is used for posting of regular announcements and information for students of the class.

05-23-2022 Finals week / Exam 3 (Ch 4)

05-09-2022 Week 15: Estimating transformations of continuous distributions


  • Quiz on Normal distribution
  • Discuss Section 5.3. Won’t be on exam, but you may see a bonus question on the exam about this section
    • Revisit Chapter 1 notes in your course packet. It contains code on integration, and plotting distributions
    • Chapter 1 online notes have been updated to include these (so you have a paper and electronic copy)


  • Exam review. Be there or be an equilateral equiangular quadrilateral. Snacks will be had.

Notes & Late work: Final due date 5/18 at 4pm.

  • Submission portals have been added in Gradescope for Chapter 4 notes. You can still get them checked off visually in person if you like.
  • Turn all late work and notes into me or Alex before 5/18 at 4pm.

Exam 2 error assessment

  • You have until Wednesday 5/18 before the final exam to do any exam corrections.
  • Open appointment hours have been added to my calendar for the next two weeks.

Exam 3: Continuous Random Variables (Chapter 4)

  • Paper version: 4-6pm, LANG 302.
  • Code version: Still TBD

Make up exam (Optional)

Didn’t understand the material at the time of the exam? Show me that you understand it now.

  • You can retake the take home portion of \((Exam 1 \cap Exam 2^{c}) \cup (Exam 1^{c} \cap Exam 2)\).
    • I am not coming up with anything fancy, I will simply re-generate a personal exam for you like I did the first time around.
  • The score on this make up exam will replace your first attempt score.
  • You must request to take this exam. Nothing formal, just a DM or email saying you want to retake Exam X. If you make this request, I expect you to complete and submit it. Don’t waste my time or yours.
    • Make up exam period: 5/9/22 - 5/19/22 (Due 5/19/22 EOD no late grace period)
    • Upload your RMD code file to [this box folder]
    • Failure to follow directions will result in me not grading your exam.

Final Grading

  • What you see in BBL is mostly correct. I drop your lowest assignment, and your lowest quiz scores.
  • You are responsible for checking the accuracy of the gradebook and bringing errors to my attention in an early enough manner.
  • I do not curve, I do not give extra credit, I do not listen to pleads to bump your grade up for any reason. I will not do the math to see what you need to get a specific grade

05-02-2022 Week 14: Normal, Inverse Normal, Uniform & Exponential Random Variables

04-25-2022 Week 13: Expectaion and variability of pdfs, and an introduction to the Normal Distribution.

04-18-2022 Week 12: Exam 2 - Start Continuous Distributions

Lecture Notes Update

I’m always trying to find ways to improve my teaching. Responding to feedback last term, I converted checking physical notes to the tutorials. They worked okay for ch 2. Then they failed in Ch 3, so I made a backup plan that still gets at the purpose of getting you to practice typing R code. Which also is failing. So, back to plan C! (always have backup plans for your backup plans)

I will check your notes after each section. Options:
1. Fill out the blank RMD notes for that section, compile to PDF 2. Scan your hand written notes Either way, submit to Gradescope.

I would prefer to check them off after each section (4.1, 4.2), but I can also do all ch 4 at the once towards the end of the semester. We can discuss details later, but this typically is a simple (in person only) look through your notes that can happen before or after class.

04-11-2022 Week 11: Poisson, Hypergeometric & Exam 2 prep

Thursday updates

  • Take home released Friday 9am, due Wednesday 9am via Gradescope. Hard cutoff.
  • Exam 2 in person on Tuesday in class.

QUiz 6 was an exam review/prep. If you did poorly, this should be a wakeup call. Have you done the homework yet? You need to allow yourself time to think about, and do the homework (this is an essential part of the learning process, not just busy work for no reason or benefit), and review / reflect on what you got wrong.

Goals for Today

  1. Quiz 6 recap
  2. What do you want to know about exam 2? [Google doc]
  3. Questions on Hw?
  4. Finish Hw 3.4

04-04-2022 Week 10: Binomial, Geometric & Negative Binomial Distributions

Start Homework 3.4 this week

Available hours this week

By appointment (check times here):

Reminder of the requirements of the Exam Error Assessment
- I will not accept your appointment request until you send me your error assessment form.

Tuesday Housekeeping

  • Feedback: Thank you! Your input last week was very valuable.
    • Reminder that the required rotation has ended, and that you can attend in person or via zoom as you see fit. (unless you’re always on zoom and not doing well, I’d recommend you come to in person class)
    • Some requests I can honor, some I can’t. E.g. I can’t work more problems AND take time to answer homework questions AND have time to work on you try its AND lecture AND work on homework all in 75 minutes. I’ll try to
    • I also can’t manage your out of class time. I understand that the demands on your time are great, and the best I can do is try to provide materials far enough in advance so that you can work through it on the time you have. The recent and future video recordings are not pre-made before the semester (if you couldn’t tell), so I’m also getting to them when I can.
    • Learning R: You will not understand R if you do not work to move out of the copy/paste/pray stage. Like all Math, programming in R is a series of instructions, using appropriate functions. It is problem solving using critical thinking. All the things employers want out of students. Successful students look at the output of each line they write and ask if the output makes sense. They work to understand the structure of vectors, Booleans and logical statements. There’s not nearly enough chatter in Discord regarding learning R.
  • Tutorials: I hear ya loud and clear. It is very valuable to your learning to practice typing in your code, playing with it and making sure it works before/while you work on the examples & you try its. However I don’t have the time to properly create tutorials that are sufficiently error free to reduce the headaches.
    • This portion of your learning grade will be replaced by turning in compiled RMD notes via gradescope. E.g. I gave you the RMD file for chapter 3.4. In class we will work on the examples/you try it’s in our notebook. You will then translate it into the RMD file, making sure the code runs. When the chapter is complete, you will knit to PDF and submit via gradescope for review.

03-28-2022 Week 9: Special named discrete random variables.

No class on Thursday - Cesar Chavez Day

Homework 3.2 and 3.3 due this week

Available hours this week

03-21-2022 Week 8: Expected Value, Variance, and Functions of Random Variables (Sections 3.2 and 3.3)

Exam 1 reflections

  • Lower scores than I had hoped for. Common mistakes include:
  • Your part: Not writing mathematical equations (aka symbols). Assuming independence when it’s not stated.
  • My part:
    • One question on one version of the 3:30pm exam had a typo in problem #3 that made it impossible to answer. Here is the correction: “7 are available in both paperback and digital format.”
      • If you got this question on your exam, fix your exam wording and when you redo this question you will get full credit back.
    • Insufficient support with Bayes Rule. This question was entirely hit or miss – either you recognized it and could translate words to math symbols or you couldn’t.
      • I will be devoting two special office hours specifically dedicated to this question. You can get help in normal OH of course, but may compete with other students who have other questions.
      • ❗ This Wednesday 4-5pm Holt 202, Next Mon 11-12noon Discord.
      • Everyone can get full credit back on this question.
  • Exam error assessment. Details in the [Help] page.


  • Your choice, zoom or in person.
  • As you know mask wearing is no longer mandatory. Everyone has reasons why they will or will not wear a mask. Regardless of your personal choice or feelings you must respect the choices of your classmates.
    • Communicate with your group! You still need to participate with them.
  • If you didn’t do well on exam 1, consider coming in person more often.

03-07-2022 Week 7: Introduction to Probability Distributions and Random Variables

All students welcome to attend in person!

02-28-2022 Week 6: Combinitorics, Exam 1

Homework 2.3 feedback

I’m astounded at the number of people who used Combinatorics to try to find the theoretical probability for Homework 2.2 when it was never asked for, AND it is a topic we hadn’t covered yet. That means you should all FLY through Ch 2.4 then right? Otherwise I get the sense that a looooot of people are Googling the answers. This tells me you’re not getting the concepts, but how can I help you if you won’t ask for it?

You REALLY need to be sure to read instructions on the exam. That is where most students loose points on my exams.

From Alex: Common mistakes seen in Homework 2.2:

  • Finding the Theoretical Probability instead of the Simulation. Please carefully follow instructions and ask if you’re not sure.
  • Hard coding (You may get the right answer, but this isn’t an effective solution)
  • Probabilities being greater than 1. Always ask if your answer makes sense within the rules of probability.
  • Not properly submitting (Code not in code chunks, not using something knit from R, unassigned pages). Let me know if you need help with this.


Please use the search feature to see if your question has already been asked before you ask again. I’m going to reduce the number of times that I answer the same question.

New stuff

Tuesday we’ll talk through the start of the topic of Combinatorics, do some group work on you try it’s, then end with some polling to check on your readiness for the exam. Section 2.4 videos are only half-complete, I won’t have time to fill in those gaps with the exam this week. So we’ll be talking a bit in class.

Tutorial 2.4 has been checked and uploaded. Ready for your attention. HW 2.4 is posted, due Wed 3/9. - Note the overlap with the exam due dates.

Exam 1 & Grades

  • Alex and I are working on updating the gradebook this week. I will be putting in 0’s for all assignments not yet turned in. This is so you know where you are at right now if you decided to not do any more work.

    • Yes you can still turn in the tutorials, I will do another round of tutorial updates Thursday night.
    • Yes you can still turn in homework for half credit
  • Check the gradebook and make sure you are comfortable where you are at going into the exam. If not, come see me during the additional office hours this week.

  • Take home exam should NOT take more than a few hours. Last fall it was released on Wed and due on Fri (3 days). I’m giving you 5 days, because of the way weekends work and I recognize that some people work over weekends.

Extra Office Hours:

  • Monday 12:30-1:30 via Discord, 8-9pm via Community Coding (Zoom + Discord)
  • Tuesday before & after class (Only until 5:15pm)
  • Wednesday 1-3pm via Discord
  • Friday 12-1pm, 2-3pm via Community Coding (Zoom + Discord)

02-21-2022 Week 5: Conditional Probability

Odd students only week

Thank you everyone for being flexible with me. The rest of the videos for Section 2.3 are posted on the schedule page. Expect to work with each other on the You Try It questions and Homework 2.3 while in class with your team.

Reminder: The links to the PDF notes can be found linked at the top of the schedule page.

Ch 2.3 tutorial has been double checked & updated mid-Sunday. You are now clear to work on it.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Hw 2.3 Due Monday 2/28
  • Exam 1: Chapters 2.1-2.3
    • In Class: Thurs 3/3
    • Take home: Mon 3/7
  • Hw 2.4 Due Wed 3/9

02-14-2022 Week 4: Replication and Conditional Probability

No synchronous class on Thursday.

As I mentioned in Discord earlier, I am having a family emergency and will not be able to hold class as usual. Here is what is expected of you in the meantime.

  1. Finish Hw 2.2 and submit by Friday end of day
    • I added another video today working through three additional simulation problems. Highly advised you watch these and follow along.
  2. Watch all videos for Chapter 2.3, and fill out your physical course packet through page 36.
    • The videos (posted as of Wednesday night) will take you through page 35, with the exception of YTI #2 on page 32 or page 35. You are still expected to work these out and then check your solution against the notes once they are posted next week. I may add videos for the missing pieces over the weekend, but I cannot promise it.

Suggestion: Do not start on the tutorial for 2.3 yet. I will re-review in the next day or two and try to find all the problems before you do.

Quiz 2 will be posted over the weekend and I will announce it via Discord.

I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and compassion with me at this time.

Even week students in person only

Reinstalling Tutorial

  • code is devtools::install_github("norcalbiostat/ChicoLearnR")
  • this will not reset your progress
  • You do not need to update the other packages (hit 3 for “None” when asked)
  • If you found a typo (e.g. 21 instead of 24) then you are welcome to submit the incorrect answer instead of waiting for a solution update.


We are not getting enough in class group active work time so I am going to try to start recording lecture for you to watch before class. Then we will do quizzes, polls and group work mainly in class along with answering questions. No guarantees I will be able to get it done for every lecture.

  • Ch 2.1 homework due Friday by EOD. Plan ahead to make good progress on this in class on Tuesday by watching the video on Replication, and my solutions to the you try it questions before class. If you struggled with last Thursday’s content, also watch Kathy’s video on Simulating Probabilities. We will be working mostly in groups on Tuesday with little lecture.

    • If you haven’t done the you try it for replication yet, the autograder has been fixed so go ahead and update the tutorial.
  • Homework and Quiz dates have been posted for the rest of Chapter 2.

  • First exam date set for week 6.

02-07-2022 Week 3: Probability and Simulation

Odd week students in person only

If you keep getting an error with installing the tutorials, here is your backup plan.

  1. Make a free account on Rstudio Cloud.
  2. Click this link to make a copy of my project:
  3. In the top you will see this red “Temporary Copy”. Click “Save a Permanent Copy”

Now anytime you log into Rstudio Cloud you will be able to access these tutorials.

WARNING You only have 25 project hours each month in Rstudio Cloud. I suggest you ONLY do the tutorials in the cloud so you stay under the hour limit.

When you are done working in the tutorial I advise you click the stop sign button to stop the job, so you don’t use up extra time.

01-31-2022 Week 2: Chico Flex Rotation mode - Engage.

Even week students in person only.

Before class, check with your team so that you know who is attending in person and who is attending online. It would also be good to decide how you’re going to communicate and work on problems together during class time.

We will be working out of the course packet this week, starting chapter 2.1.

While the course packet has places for you to write in it, you will still need additional pages now and again. Tuesday is one of those days, so be sure to insert a blank page after page 11 into your packet.

[Section 2.1 Jamboard for collaborative work]. Pick a blank page and work with your team while answering questions. (Optional)

01-24-2022 Week 1: Welcome to Spring 22!

Be sure to bookmark this page, you’ll be here a LOT. Look around, check out the help section, and especially the Schedule page to see what we have going on this week.

Tuesday: All students in person

  • Brief Introduction - See video in Blackboard for much more information and discussion on class policies
  • All students must wear a mask at all time in the classroom, over the entire nose and mouth. No exceptions. N95’s are recommended due to Omicron’s high infection rate.
    • We did good in fall, please help us stay safe and healthy and continue to be in person all semester.
  • Mood & Expectations
  • Group formation / Rotating Attendance
  • Work through HW0 - today in class where Alex and I can help.
  • Expectation for Thursday