Lecture Notes on Sakai: Sequential Sessions (Use your ID, and Password: Technical Difficulties: email@example.com 410- 837-5078)
The MENU for the Week of Monday January 28, 2013:
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.
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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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling at (410) 837-5385. Professor Yoosef Kkhadem (email@example.com) 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.
A Fact: My past students, who utilized this tutorial service throughout the semester, improved their course grade substantially.
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!
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.
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.
When you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 studentÃ¢â¬â¢s performance
Link to Business School Mission:
Your examinations have similar format as the Sample Exams, consisting of two parts:
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.
In general there are at least five criteria for an interesting and useful Web site:
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.
Many students find it helpful to learn statistics. I strongly suggest to view them a few times.
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.
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:
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.
"..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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
Booz Allen and Hamilton
Lecture Notes on Sakai: Sequential Sessions
Homework Assignments to Do Before Each Class Meeting and Sample Tests