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Research Methodology And Statistical Analysis For Mba Notes And Assignments

Course Information for
OPRE504: Data Analysis and Decisions
Monday 6:00 PM at the Business Center Room 309

This is a Web-text companion site for the Web-enhanced textbooks:
Business Statistics    Forecasting    Excel   Course E-Labs   Statistical Resources    Financial Keywords and Phrases


Lecture Notes on Sakai: Sequential Sessions   (Use your ID, and Password: Technical Difficulties: tross@ubalt.edu 410- 837-5078)

The MENU for the Week of Monday January 28, 2013:

1. Any Questions?
2. A Short Version of Course Syllabus
3. What Math Do I Need for This Course? (Word.Doc)
4. Bring-in your scientific calculator and textbook in every class meeting.


You should check your UB e-mail often because the tutorial sessions' day, time and the place (at UB) are being sent out, in advance to each one of you using your UB e-mail address.


I am looking forward to working with you and hope that you will find the course both enjoyable and informative.

Professor Hossein Arsham                        

         MENU

  1. Homework Assignments to Do Before Each Class Meeting and Sample Tests
  2. Welcome Message
  3. Academic Policy Statement
  4. Group, Individual and Elluminate Tutorial
  5. Course Description
  6. Course Structure, Its Ingredients & Learning Objects
  7. What Math Do I Need for This Course? (Word.Doc)
  8. Required Textbook, and Further Readings
  9. Course Requirements, Grading Criteria & System :
  10. The Course Objectives and Its Link to Business School Mission
  11. Your Fellow Students' and Advice
  12. Instructions for Homework Assignment
  13. Computer-assisted Learning: E-Labs and Computational Tools
  14. I Am Confused: How to know when to apply
    what formulas and calculations in word problems.
  15. The Main Web Sites I Recommend
  16. After This Course Is Over: Statistical Concepts You Need For Life (Word.Doc)

         Companion Site:

To search the site, try Edit | Find in page [Ctrl + f]. Enter a word or phrase in the dialogue box, e.g. "or "If the first appearance of the word/phrase is not what you are looking for, try .


Academic Policy Statement

The University of Baltimore and the UB/Towson MBA program comprises a community of students, faculty, administrators, and staff who share a commitment to learning. As the practice of academic honesty is essential to learning, the university has established a policy for academic honesty. Students enrolled in the UB/Towson MBA program can find the MBA policy online in the Student Handbook Student Handbook at www.ubtowsonmba.com. Students enrolled in other graduate business programs can find the UB policy statement online in the Student Handbook at www.ubalt.edu/studentlife.

All members of our community share responsibility for actively fostering academic honesty, actively discouraging academic dishonesty, and engaging in ongoing discussion of activities that may violate the spirit of honesty. Although the academic integrity policy places primary emphasis on fostering honesty, it also provides clear consequences for behavior that violates the policy, together with fair procedures for judging alleged cases of dishonesty.


Group, and Individual Tutorial

  1. Group and Individual Tutorial

    You may have to seek tutorial help to improve your algebraic computational and Statistical Problem Solving skills from the Achievement and Learning Center (ALC) located at (AC) Room AC 113 or by sending an email to: alc@ubalt.edu or by calling at (410) 837-5385. Professor Yoosef Kkhadem (ykhadem@ubalt.edu) is the Coordinator of Stat Service at ALC. He is knowledgeable, and has both experience and patient. We are fortunate in having the following tutors being assigned for this course.

    and

A Fact: My past students, who utilized this tutorial service throughout the semester, improved their course grade substantially.


Dear Student

Welcome to: Business Statistics

I am looking forward to working with you and hope that you will find the course both enjoyable and informative.

This is a course in statistics appreciation, i.e. to acquire a feel for the statistical way of thinking. An introductory course in statistics designed to provide you with the basic concepts and methods of statistical analysis for processes and products. The course is tailored to meet your needs in the MBA, and MS programs. Accordingly, all the application problems are borrowed from business and economics such as: Process control (production), Evaluation of the effects of a promotional campaign (marketing), Understanding how your workers approach their jobs (personnel), and Planning the process of ordering supplies (logistics). By the end of this course you'll be able to think statistically. The cardinal objective for this course is to increase the extent to which statistical thinking is embedded in management thinking for decision making under uncertainties. It is already an accepted fact that "Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write." So, let's be ahead of our time.

I do admire students with full-time jobs, families and a strong commitment to their education. I will gladly help you if something unexpected in your life happens -for example, an unexpected trip related to your job, an illness, etc.

This Web site is created for you. No one needs to be ashamed of what he or she does not know or how long it takes to master new information. Learning on the Web can be nonjudgmental and self-paced. Using advantages of this technology to expand learning opportunities is particularly crucial because we live in a time when learning is becoming a necessity not a luxury.

The letters in your course number: OPRE, stand for OPerations RE-search. OPRE is a science assisting you to make decisions (based on some numerical and measurable scales) by searching, and re-searching for a solution. I refer you to What Is OR/MS? for a deeper understanding of what OPRE is all about. Decision making process must be based on data neither on personal opinion nor on belief. Here is how people avoid making serious decisions. Do you use some of these strategies?

By the end of this course you'll be able to apply statistical concepts and methodologies when performing data analysis. You will learn how to execute these analyses using a variety of computers and computer-based tools. You will even learn how to do many of these analyses using that most personal of computer tools, the scientific/business calculator and statistical computation

To be competitive, business must design quality into products and processes. Further, they must facilitate a process of never-ending improvement at all stages of manufacturing. A strategy employing statistical methods, particularly statistically designed experiments, produces processes that provide high yield and products that seldom fail. Moreover, it facilitates development of robust products that are insensitive to changes in the environment and internal component variation. Carefully planned statistical studies remove hindrances to high quality and productivity at every stage of production, saving time and money. It is well recognized that quality must be engineered into products as early as possible in the design process. One must know how to use carefully planned, cost-effective experiments to improve, optimize and make robust products and processes.

The Devil is in the Deviations: Variation is an inevitability in life! Every process has variation. Every measurement. Every sample! Managers need to understand variation for two key reasons. First, so that they can lead others to apply statistical thinking in day to day activities and secondly, to apply the concept for the purpose of continuous improvement. This course will provide you with hands-on experience to promote the use of statistical thinking and techniques to apply them to make educated decisions whenever you encounter variation in business data. You will learn techniques to intelligently assess and manage the risks inherent in decision-making. Therefore, remember that:

Just like weather, if you cannot control something, you should learn how to measure and analyze, in order to predict it, effectively.

If you have taken statistics before, and have a feeling of inability to grasp concepts, it is largely due to your former non-statistician instructors teaching statistics. Their deficiencies lead students to develop phobias for the sweet science of statistics. In this respect, the following remark is made by Professor Herman Chernoff, in Statistical Science, Vol. 11, No. 4, 335-350, 1996:

Plugging numbers in the formulas and crunching them has no value by themselves. You should continue to put effort into the concepts and concentrate on interpreting the results.

Even, when you solve a small size problem by hand, I would like you to use the available computer software and Web-based computation to do the dirty work for you, visit statistical computation.

You must be able to read off the logical secrete in any formulas not memorizing them. For example, in computing the variance, consider its formula. Instead of memorizing, you should start with some whys:

i. Why we square the deviations from the mean.
Because, if we add up all deviations we get always zero. So to get away from this problem, we square the deviations. Why not raising to the power of four (three will not work)? Since squaring does the trick why should we make life more complicated than it is. Notice also that squaring also magnifies the deviations, therefore it works to our advantage to measure the quality of the data.

ii. Why there is a summation notation in the formula.
To add up the squared deviation of each data point to compute the total sum of squared deviations.

iii. Why we divide the sum of squares by n-1.
The amount of deviation should reflects also how large is the sample size. Therefore, we must bring in the sample size (n) while computing the variance. That is, in general larger sample size have larger sum of square deviation from the mean. Okay. Why n-1 and not n. The reason it is when you divide by n-1 the sample's variance provide a much closer result to the population variance than when you divide by n, on average. You note that for large sample size n (say over 30) it really does not matter whether you divide by n or n-1. The results are almost the same and acceptable. The factor n-1 is so called the "degrees of freedom".

This was just an example for you to show as how to question the formulas rather than memorizing them. In fact when you try to understand the formulas you do not need to remember them, they are parts of your brain connectivity. Clear thinking is always more important than the ability to do a lot of arithmetic.

When you look at a statistical formula the formula should talk to you, as when a musician looks at a piece of musical-notes he/she hears the music. How to become a statistician who is also a musician?

The objectives for this course is to learn statistical thinking; to emphasize more data and concepts, less theory and fewer recipes; and finally to foster active learning using, e.g., the useful and interesting Web-sites.

For my teaching philosophy statements, you may like to visit the Web site On Learning & Teaching.

Feel free to contact me via phone, fax, or email. There is a lot of material to cover, so let's start now!


Course Description

Statistical data analysis for managerial decision making. Includes an examination of summary measures, probability, random variables and their distributions. Presents estimation and hypothesis testing, correlation and regression analysis and ANOVA, and their applications to business problems. The use of statistical data analysis software is an integral part of this course
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Course Learning Objectives

Preamble: The Merrick School of Business is strongly committed to the improvement of student learning through the assessment of our undergraduate and graduate degree programs. As part of this process, rubrics have been developed to provide students with qualitative guidance about what level of performance meets, exceeds or falls below expectations for specific skills and learning objectives. Students are encouraged to review the rubrics located on the Merrick School website Merrick School of Business Assessment to understand expectations for effective communication, analytical and problem solving skills, ethical reasoning, and other skills necessary in business.

Content Outline:

  1. Introduction to business statistics and data collection
  2. Descriptive statistics, summary measures, contingency tables and probability concepts.
  3. Properties of discrete probability distributions including Binomial distribution
  4. Properties of continuous probability distributions including Normal distribution
  5. Sampling distribution of the mean
  6. Confidence interval estimation of the mean and proportions.
  7. Hypothesis testing: Single population, two populations, z-test, t-test, one-tailed and two-tailed tests, chi-square tests, F-test for the variances, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and regression analysis.
  8. Spreadsheet modeling for business decision making.

When you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  1. Obtain an appreciation for the breadth of statistical applications in business.
  2. Learn how to construct and interpret summarization procedures for quantitative and qualitative data.
  3. Learn how to use probability information in the decision making process. 4. Understand the importance of sampling and how results from samples can be used to make inferences about population parameters.
  4. Learn how to construct and interpret interval estimate of a population mean.
  5. Learn how to formulate and test hypotheses about a population mean.
  6. Understand how regression analysis can be used to develop an equation that estimates how two variables are related.
  7. Learn how the analysis of variance procedure can be used to determine if means of more than two populations are equal.
  8. Understand the role that statistical data analysis plays in managerial decision making process.
  9. Learn how to use statistical software for computations, visit e.g., statistical computation.

Course Structure, Its Ingredients & Learning Objects

Course Structure: Your course materials are divided into the following ordered topics:

An overview of statistical thinking; Descriptive statistics; The meaning of probability; Random variables and Probability Distributions; Goodness-of-fit tests; Runs test; Point estimate and confidence interval; Tests of hypotheses for one and two population; Contingency tables; Regression analysis and Analysis of variance.

Course Ingredients: The Course Ingredient Components Include:

  1. A set of Technical Keywords and Phrases,
  2. A Collection of Problem-Solving Methodologies, and
  3. Managerial Interpretations, Their Implications and Applications.

What Is Managerial Interpretations? The decision problem is stated by the decision-maker often in some non-technical terms. When you think over the problem, and finding out what module of the software to use, you will use the software to get the solution. The solution should also be presented to the decision-maker in the same style of language, which is understandable, by the decision-maker. Therefore, just do not give me the printout of the software. You must also provide managerial interpretation of the solution in some non-technical terms.

Learning Objects: There are varieties of sources in helping you to understand the foundation of statistical thinking for decision making. Each of the following items provides you with different perspective on our weekly topics.

  1. Textbook: Your textbook is the main source reading and the exercise before your each class meeting.
  2. Lecture Notes: Lecture notes are not your textbook substitute. They are designed to meet your needs, as I perceive while lecturing.
  3. Live Lectures & Handouts: The lectures are the bases of your interactions as a learning process, with your classmates and me.
  4. External Web Sites: The external weekly Web sites are directly relevant to the topics of the week. These reviews serve you as specialized "invited speakers" to our classroom.
  5. Computer Assisted Learning: My teaching style deprecates the 'plug the numbers into the software and let the magic box work it out' approach. The E-labs is an effective tool for experimentation in serving your needed "hand on experience" for understanding the managerial implication of the concepts for yourself. Visit e.g., statistical computation, and the professional software SPSS.

I am sure that your careful readings and effective use of the above learning objects, provide various perspectives, create a deeper understanding of the topic, together with the wholeness and manifoldness of this course.


Required Textbook, and Further Readings

Required Textbook for OPRE504:Business Statistics by Examples , 5th ed., by Terry Sincich, ISBN number: 0-02-410441-8, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1996.
A copy of the textbook is available in Langsdale Library at Reserved Circulation desk (under call no. B-40). You must have a valid student ID with you to use the book.
Your textbook is available at the UB Bookstore, (410) 837-5604.

The textbook chosen for this course is excellent. It is a modern, well written and clear account of the issues facing anyone doing business statistics. It is easy to read, has broad coverage and is eminently suitable for self study with many examples.

Further Readings: There are some Business Statistics, and general statistics textbooks that you may find helpful. They are located at the Langsdale Library.


Business School Mission

Merrick School of Business Mission Statement: Our mission is to prepare our diverse mix of students in collaboration with the business community to succeed in a dynamic global economy. The goal is to make excellence accessible. We achieve our mission by:
  • Creating and delivering a leading edge curriculum with practical learning experiences in innovative and flexible ways;
  • Maintaining intellectual currency through scholarship on business theory, practice and education; and
  • Providing expertise to the private and public sectors as well as the academic community.
Learning Style For This Course: An efficient and effective learning begins with asking yourself How to Study? I would like to insist that most parts of this course require a particular learning style. The effective and efficient learning style for this course is doing your homework assignments on a regular weekly basis and learning from your mistakes whenever I provide feedbacks.

I am sure you will be enthusiastic about the topics covered in this course throughout the semester and beyond. Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do study for this course, do it with all your might. Put your whole mind into it during the semester. Stamp your work with your own personality when submitting them to me. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and honest, and you will accomplish the objectives of this course. Remember that, learning-to-learn was never achieved without enthusiasm.

Assessment Techniques: The following techniques will be used to assess a student’s performance

  • Homework Assignments from Texbook and Lecture Notes, Computer Assignments, Discussion Forums: A Few-minutes Paper Per Session (30%)
  • Mid-term Examination (30%)
  • Final Examination (40%)

Link to Business School Mission:

  1. Integration of functional areas is accomplished by emphasizing applications related to statistics.
  2. Life long learning skills are developed by the processes involved in structuring problems, building statistical models for a variety of decision making situations.
  3. Information technology implications are addressed by requiring students to use popular statistical software in obtaining solutions to statistical models.
  4. Impact of globalization is introduced through statistical modeling which is universal.
  5. Ethical dimensions are included by addressing integrity issues in data collection and estimating the necessary parameters to build the statistical models.
  6. Collaboration is emphasized by encouraging students to work in groups to learn.
What Do You Mean By:
  • Design thinking for creativity and innovation: Strategic and Purposeful Thinking.
  • Experiential learning: Doing Computer-Assisted Learning.
  • Leadership: Do Think for Yourself (not about yourself).
  • Critical thinking: It Is Critic (not criticizing) Meaning Finding Its Scopes and Its Limitations
  • Global management capabilities: Understanding Other Culture, Thinking not as an Individual but as a Human Being.

Course Requirements, Grading Criteria & System

Notices:

    Your examinations have similar format as the Sample Exams, consisting of two parts:

    • The application part contains a few problems similar to your homework. The weekly homework problems are from a specific section of the book therefore, it is easy to know what formula or procedure to use. However, in real life, as in the test you have to know what procedure is the right one to use.
    • The conceptual part contains a few questions that come from your weekly readings assignments. These questions test how careful and reflective your readings have been by coming up with correct, exclusive, and inclusive answers.
  • Homework: Assignments (100 points) will be collected randomly and graded. Your homework assignment consists of three parts:
    1. Reading and problem solving from your textbook (60points).
    2. Reading the lecture notes, answering any questions therein, and Your A Few-minutes Paper Discussion Forums Per Session (10 + 10=20 points).
    3. Computer implementation using the E-labs, Excel, or SPSS, etc. since without a statistical computer package one cannot perform any realistic statistical data analysis (20 points).
    You do not have to type your homework assignments; you may save some times in spending more on learning than typing. In this case please, please hand-in your eligible homework on time.

    Homework Due Date: Meeting deadlines and even sending me material before deadlines are very important, since you will be engaging in group learning activities where time is crucial. So you should make every effort to complete your work on time. Therefore, late homework submissions carry no credit at all.

  • Web Sites Review: Think about these questions as you review the assigned Websites:
    • What does the Website provide?
    • How do you benefit from online material?
    • What are some of the distinguishing characteristics of the Website?
    • How is learning facilitated using the Web as an educational tool? fact

    In general there are at least five criteria for an interesting and useful Web site:

    • Accuracy: Accuracy covers who is the author and can you contact him or her, the reviewer should ask why this document was written. What is the purpose?
    • Authority: The reviewer should verify who published the site as well as was the publisher separate from the webmaster.
    • Objectivity: The evaluator should determine what are the goals and objectives of the site. Is the information marketing related or is it for informational purposes. This material is reviewed within the objectivity criteria.
    • Currency and Coverage: Currency should be determined by the date of the last review. Has the material been updated recently or is the material old.
    • Packaging: Are the images and text pleasing to the eye? Is the contact organized in a logical sequence? Is all of the information cited appropriately?

    Your external Web sites reviews allow you to understand the same concepts covered in your textbook and the lecture notes from different perspectives. To maximize the outcome of your learning-to-learn process efforts, visit the Web site The Impact of the Internet on Learning & Teaching.

    Grading System
    90-10080-8970-7965-6960-64O.W.
    A
    B+
    B
    C+
    C
    F

    Instructions for Homework Assignment
    1. Collecting your homework for grading is a random event: Your weekly homework will be collected randomly without any prior notice. That is, you do not know what week I am going to collect that week’s homework for grading. Therefore, be prepared and do your homework on a regular basis and bring it to our class meetings for possible collection. Missing any homework on the day that is due has value of zero.
    2. Students must seek tutorial help from the Achievement and Learning Center at 410-837-5385, Email, located at AC 111.
    3. Students should attempt as many of the problems in each chapter as possible. At least one problem representative of each topic covered in the classroom should be attempted. Suggested problems would include those for which solutions are available in the back of your textbook. Problem formulation and solving are an important aspect of learning statistics. It is therefore important that you regularly do your homework assignment selected from the text.
    4. The use of a scientific calculator is required for the course and should be brought to each class meeting.
    5. Keep a copy of your complete homework and any other material before submitting for grading. Keep the copy until you receive a grade notification form me. These steps will ensure the safety of any material that is lost or unduly delayed. If some material are delayed or lost, i.e., not received on time, you will be ask to resubmit another copy. In the unlikely event that you are unable to resubmit another copy, you will be required to redo it.
    6. The video series Against All Odds: Inside statistics is a nice and effective introduction to statistical thinking. All 26 half-hour episodes are available from the Langsdale Library, Ref. No: QA276.A35 1989 VC v. 1-26. An additional set of these videos are on reserve at the Academic Resource Center.

      Many students find it helpful to learn statistics. I strongly suggest to view them a few times.

    7. All students are expected to follow the Academic Honor Code of UB.
      "Academic honesty is based on the principle that one's work is one's own. The University of Baltimore Academic Integrity Policy encourages all members of the University to accept responsibility for taking academic honesty seriously by being well-informed, by contributing to a climate in which honesty is valued, and by considering responsible ways to discourage dishonesty in the work of others. Students, faculty, administrators, and staff should not condone or tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or falsification, since such activity negatively affects all members of the academic community." Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures. Student Handbook: 2, II.B., 1994.
  • Examination Facts:Exams are 2-hours long, in-class, closed-book (Except for use of the Statistical Tables). You are not allowed to use my Lecture Notes, nor your submitted Home-works. However, you are allowed to use your own Pre-Prepared Summary-Sheets for Exam.

    Since you are allowed ONLY to use your own Pre-Prepared Summary-Sheets for Exam. Read carefully the Summary-Sheets for the Exam on this page, while preparing one for the test.

    You will also need a scientific calculator, and a blue book (available at the Bookstore).

    When taking your exam, present your work in detail. This will allow me to give partial credit.

    The exams are not in any particular format so expect both standard numerical problem solving and conceptual type questions. The exams will test your understanding of the material covered in this course. The main purpose of taking the examinations is to find out how reflective your mind is in answering a set of questions correctly. The objective is to maximize the number of correct solutions, subject to a limited time constraint (a 2-hours session). Samples of past exams are available on this Web site for inspection.

    To prepare yourself for exams, review all topics, homework assignment and lecture notes.

    To master what you are learning I recommend in prepare a summary sheet of the main topics you have learned in any given week.

  • How to Prepare Your Summary-Sheets for the Exam: Your mind is what your brain does. Self-consciousness is self-knowledge. The process of becoming conscious distributes what you know throughout your brain via the brain neural network branches, unlike memorizing, which connects only two nodes of the network. The availability and expansion of what you know throughout your neural network branches make the information processing of your brain accurate. Thus, you possess a reflective, brilliant knowledgeable mind.

    The process of making your own summary-sheet is the idea of contemplating the topics you have learned. By definition of esthetics, the longer you contemplate on what you have learned the more beautiful the subject mater becomes. Beauty and contemplation is distinguished from other mental manifestations; contemplation is the result of the perfect apprehension of relations and topics.

    Use the following Guide to Prepare Your Summary Sheets:

    1. Write everything you know about the topics, one by one.
    2. When you can't think of anything more, give yourself time to look for topics and details you may have missed.
    3. Ask yourself, is there anything else I may have missed? Be as inclusive as possible.
    4. Summarize your writing to create fewer pages.
    5. Re-organize to make even fewer pages.
    6. Ask, How do the topics fit together? What elements are related and how?
    7. Ask, What is the significance for me? What can I do with it? What are the implications?
    8. Go back to step 3, until you have as few pages of summary as possible.

    The above process helps to crystallize your mind to be reflective and responsive to questions posed about topics you've learned in this course and reinforces the topics in your mind.

  • I Am Confused: How to know when to apply what formulas and calculations in word problems. You or some of your classmates may have following honest concern and difficulty:

    "..The muddiest points still remaining are how to know when to apply what formulas and calculations in word problems.."


    You are not alone on this. You have an honest concern and a difficulty to overcome. Since you are learning little-by-little every week, it is very natural desire to see the wholeness and manifoldness of topics. Therefore, it is natural to feel confused because of accumulation of different topics. However we must cross over to the other side of confusion where by thinking clearly and distinctively you will feel comfortable. As an Italian proverb says "He who knows nothing doubts nothing."

    As you know by now, the ingredient components of what you should master are:

    1. A set of Technical Keywords and Phrases. There are confusions on statistical terminologies, mostly because of historical miss-naming them. For example, ki-square (ki-sqre, Chi-square), is not the square of anything, its name implies Chi-square (read, ki-square). ki does not exist in statistics.
    2. A Collection of Problem-Solving Methodologies. There are different formula, and conditions under which each statistical procedure is applicable. For example, there are many Z's defined at z value, z test, z transformation, and z score. One must be careful to know which one to use for a given application. For test of hypotheses and estimations with confidence, I suggest in make a short list of them for yourself, similar to the one at Selection of a Statistical Table
    3. The above two items are for some useful ends for Business statistical-based courses, as well as statistical managerial interpretations of the word problems, for decision making under uncertainty. You may ask: What Is Managerial Interpretations? The decision problem is stated by the decision-maker often in some non-technical terms. When you think over the problem, and finding out what module of the software to use, you will use the software to get the solution. The solution should also be presented to the decision-maker in the same style of language, which is understandable, by the decision-maker.

    Computer-assisted Learning: E-Labs and Computational Tools

    My teaching style deprecates the 'plug the numbers into the software and let the magic box work it out' approach. Personal computers, spreadsheets, e.g., Excel, professional statistical packages (e.g., such as SPSS), and other information technologies are now ubiquitous in statistical data analysis. Without using these tools, one cannot perform any realistic statistical data analysis on large data sets.

    The appearance of other computer software, JavaScript Applets, Statistical Demonstrations Applets, and Online Computation are the most important events in the process of teaching and learning concepts in model-based statistical decision making courses. These tools allow you to construct numerical examples to understand the concepts, and to find their significance for yourself.

    Use any or online interactive tools available on the WWW to perform statistical experiments (with the same purpose, as you used to do experiments in physics labs to learn physics) to understand statistical concepts such as Central Limit Theorem are entertaining and educating.

    Computer-assisted learning is similar to the experiential model of learning. The adherents of experiential learning are fairly adamant about how we learn. Learning seldom takes place by rote. Learning occurs because we immerse ourselves in a situation in which we are forced to perform and think. You get feedback from the computer output and then adjust your thinking-process if needed.

    Professional Software:

    • A SPSS-Example,   SPSS-Examples,    SPSS-More Examples,   (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) is a data management and analysis product. It can perform a variety of data analysis and presentation functions, including statistical analyses and graphical presentation of data.

      Available at: SPSS Package on Citrix (Installing and Accessing)

    • SAS   (Statistical Analysis System) is a system of software packages; some of its basic functions and uses are: database management inputting, cleaning and manipulating data, statistical analysis, calculating simple statistics such as means, variances, correlations; running standard routines such as regressions.

      Available at: SPSS/SAS Packages on Citrix (Installing and Accessing) Use your email ID and Password: Technical Difficulties OTS Call Center (401) 837-6262

    • Excel Examples,    Excel More Examples     It is Excellent for Descriptive Statistics, and getting acceptance is improving, as computational tool for Inferential Statistics.
    The Value of Performing Experiment: If the learning environment is focused on background information, knowledge of terms and new concepts, the learner is likely to learn that basic information successfully. However, this basic knowledge may not be sufficient to enable the learner to carry out successfully the on-the-job tasks that require more than basic knowledge. Thus, the probability of making real errors in the business environment is high. On the other hand, if the learning environment allows the learner to experience and learn from failures within a variety of situations similar to what they would experience in the "real world" of their job, the probability of having similar failures in their business environment is low. This is the realm of simulations-a safe place to fail.

    The appearance of statistical software is one of the most important events in the process of decision making under uncertainty. Statistical software systems are used to construct examples, to understand the existing concepts, and to find new statistical properties. On the other hand, new developments in the process of decision making under uncertainty often motivate developments of new approaches and revision of the existing software systems. Statistical software systems rely on a cooperation of statisticians, and software developers.

    Beside the professional statistical software Online statistical computation, and the use of a scientific calculator is required for the course. A Scientific Calculator is the one, which has capability to give you, say, the result of square root of 5. Any calculator that goes beyond the 4 operations is fine for this course. These calculators allow you to perform simple calculations you need in this course, for example, enabling you to take square root, to raise e to the power of say, 0.36. and so on. These types of calculators are called general Scientific Calculators. There are also more specific and advanced calculators for mathematical computations in other areas such as Finance, Accounting, and even Statistics. The last one, for example, computes mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis of a sample by simply entering all data one-by-one and then pressing any of the mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis keys.

    Without a computer one cannot perform any realistic statistical data analysis. Students who are signing up for the course are expected to know the basics of Excel.

    As a starting point, you need visiting the Excel Web site created for this course. If you are challenged by or unfamiliar with Excel, you may seek tutorial help from the Academic Resource Center at 410-837-5385, E-mail.

    Leaning Tools for Statistical Concepts is a part of the E-labs learning objects for decision making.

    What and How to Hand-in My Computer Assignment? For the computer assignment I do recommend in checking your hand computation homework, and checking some of the numerical examples from your textbook. As part of your homework assignment you don not have to hand in the printout of the computer assisted learning, however, you must include within your handing homework a paragraph entitled "Computer Implementation" describing your (positive or negative) experience.


    The Main Web Sites I Recommend

    The following main statistical web sites and the lecture notes, together with your textbook contain all the materials you need to learn statistics. Make sure to visit these sites at least once a week to learn more on the related topics covered in this course.

    Some other useful and specialized web sites are linked to your Each Session Topics pages.

    General main statistical Web sites:


    Web Sites Containing Statistical Keywords & Phrases:

    The following Web site collection provide a wide range of keywords & phrases. Visit these sites weekly to learn the language of statisticians.

    Statistical Demos:

    Statistical Computation and Tables:

    The following Web sites provide statistical computations and tables such ad critical values useful in statistical testing and construction of confidence intervals. The results are identical to those given in your textbook. However, in most cases they are more extensive (therefore more accurate).


    Your Fellow Students' Opinion and Advice

    The following is a collection of comments on the value of the course from last semester's students. I am sure you will benefit from their experience and their precious advice for your success upon taking this course. As you can see, the most frequently mentioned recommendation is to keep up with the work and complete all assignment prior to coming to class.
  • Dear Prof. Arsham
    I have to be honest, I found myself questioning your teaching method a few times at the beginning of the semester. Then, one day, a little before the mid-term, all the pieces started to get together and somehow the whole picture became clearer. I just wanted to thank you for this past semester, for your time and for the obvious passion you show for your job. I probably won't be a statistician for work, but I'll bring these concepts with me in life. I also found some of your "side" teachings very meaningful, like the idea of being in the military for a sort of decide-phobia or the fact that one might not be doing what he likes, but he has to like what he does. Very wise. Finally I think I also enjoyed your class...
    Wishing you all the best,
    Valerio
  • Dear Dr. Arsham,

    I want to thank you for all the knowledge that you transmit to the class I really enjoy your class and all your comments about the need of Stats in everything because as you have said "everything is business" probably some of us already knew that but many of them did not and I think that you turn on the light on their heads which is very valuable for the students and for UB community.

  • Dear Dean,

    As an engineer pursuing my MBA, I found Dr. Arsham's course on Business Statistics to be the most useful course I've taken to date at UB in Bridging the gap between the technical world and that of the managerial. Dr. Arsham is able to bring numbers and statistics alive and give them meaning. As An instructor he is both disciplined and understanding of student needs.
    While he is uncompromising in his method of teaching and rigorous in his treatment of the material, he is also most forgiving as I grew as a student under his tutelage.
    In past courses I have never had difficulties with mathematics such as calculus or differential equations, but statistics and probability courses have always vexed me. For the first time in my life, Dr. Arsham has enabled me to grasp the elusive meaning and mechanics of statistical analysis. Indeed, I've even purchased and began reading one of the books from his "recommended reading list" in order to continue my growth in this subject area. At this point I can honestly say that a well-founded knowledge of basic statistics may be the most important class a business student should consider taking. I HIGHLY recommend his course to any serious student who really wants to know how to analyze and understand statistics.

    Sincerely,
    "signed"
    Senior Consultant
    Booz Allen and Hamilton

  • Dr. Arsham is very knowledgeable on the subject and is able to provide real world examples. His lectures are thought provoking and simplistic enough to engage your work. My suggestion to the following classes is to keep up with the reading and pay attention to the lectures. The text, the lectures, and the lecture notes, provide all the information that you will need for the homework and the exams. If you keep up with the homework, the reading, and attend class, the class is very passable. If not, you will be in for a long semester. Good luck to you as you embark on the adventure of learning a new language.
  • OPRE 504 is a well-rounded class with opportunities to learn from the Web sites the lectures, book and lecture notes. The lectures were particularly helpful as Dr. Arsham spoke a lot about the concepts that are important, why they are important, and what they mean. Dr. Arsham also takes the time to review the highlights throughout the course, as well. It was helpful to have this conceptual information to see how the pieces fit together. The course information Web site was very useful- to check your homework, to use E-labs to complete assignments, for reading about special topics, and to use practice questions and practice exams. The external Web sites reviews were fun too, who knew there was so much information available about statistics? Some of them were really fun with neat graphics.
  • Given the often-complex subject matter, which for those who are unable to analyze and interpret statistical methods and concepts, Professor Arsham did an admirable job of motivating me to succeed. He took the time to excite the class into believing that business statistics, in its purest form, can be used in most everyday activities. After taking this class with Professor Arsham, I feel better prepared to utilize what he taught me in other classes in my pursued of my MBA. Thank you Professor Arsham.
  • I had a great opportunity learning about Business Statistics for decision-making subject with this course. Before taking course I have little knowledge about statistics which most of them I could not even remember. I love studying with the numbers and the course was based on the numbers. That is another subject I like about the course. The exams' style makes students not to memorize, instead make them to understand and learn. In my personal view understanding and learning are much better than memorizing. Because memorizing is short-term whereas understanding is long term. To tell the truth about the course web site although it is complicated it gives all the information that I need. I did not even buy the book, but study lecture notes and course notes on the web. So that it was very helpful for me. Also I learned several useful web sites because of the links in the course web site.
  • As an engineer pursuing my MBA, I found Dr. Arsham's course on Business Statistics to be the most useful course I've taken to date at UB in bridging the gap between the technical world and that of the managerial. Dr. Arsham is able to bring numbers and statistics alive and give them meaning. As an instructor he is both disciplined and understanding of student needs. While he is uncompromising in his method of teaching and rigorous in his treatment of the material, he is also most forgiving as I grew as a student under his tutelage. In past courses I have never had difficulties with mathematics such as calculus or differential equations, but statistics and probability courses have always vexed me. For the first time in my life, Dr. Arsham has enabled me to grasp the elusive meaning and mechanics of statistical analysis. Indeed, I've even purchased and began reading one of the books from his "recommended reading list" in order to continue my growth in this subject area. At this point I can honestly say that a well-founded knowledge of basic statistics may be the most important class a business student should consider taking. I HIGHLY recommend his course to any serious student who really wants to know how to analyze and understand statistics.

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Lecture Notes on Sakai: Sequential Sessions
Homework Assignments to Do Before Each Class Meeting and Sample Tests


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- Я опытный диагност. К тому же умираю от любопытства узнать, какая диагностика могла заставить Сьюзан Флетчер выйти на работу в субботний день. Сьюзан почувствовала прилив адреналина и бросила взгляд на Следопыта. Она понимала, что не может допустить, чтобы Хейл его увидел, - последует слишком много вопросов.

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