Applied Probability at the Sophomore Level: An Opportunity and a Challenge
Matthew A. Carlton
Statistics, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, United States

Five years ago, we replaced our traditional introductory sequence for statistics majors with courses that emphasize statistical reasoning and de-emphasize both probability and formal mathematics. At the same time, our students floundered in their senior-level theory courses. To address both issues, we created a sophomore-level course on applied probability. This presented some special challenges, such as selecting a textbook and appropriate software, as well as “pitching” the material at the right level. But this also gave us a chance to introduce several applied probability methods at an accessible level for younger students, include some that appear nowhere else in our curriculum.

In this talk, we'll examine this course development process, what went right and what when wrong, and what recommendations can be made to other institutions considering creating such a class.

Keywords: Applied probability; Sophomore; Probability model; Curriculum development

Biography: Dr. Carlton earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA. He is now Professor of Statistics at Cal Poly State University. His professional interests include applied probability and statistics education. He is an active member of the Advanced Placement Statistics community in the United States, where he often works with high school statistics teachers.