Exploring Probability

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Exploring Probability


WEDNESDAYS at 9:45 A.M. (ends at 10:45 A.M.)

This is a beginning course in probability that introduces many of the topics that are the bedrock of statistical analysis. Topics include basic probability rules, randomness, probable versus possible events, correlation versus causation, independence, and a basic introduction to hypothesis testing. We will investigate these using simulations and critical thinking within the context of current events and social debates.

Parents and students are advised that some of these topics may be controversial (e.g., the death penalty and its intersection with race or the upcoming presidential election). Every effort will be made to acknowledge and present a variety of perspectives while making a safe space to disagree. If appropriate, I will also acknowledge my own bias when I think it might affect the presentation of the information.


What students will get out of this class

By the end of the course, students can expect to have a firm foundation in probability and basic statistical analysis. They will also walk away more savy about the statistics we are inundated with every day.


What students should be prepared to put into this class

Students should expect to do 2-3 hours of work outside of class each week. This will include watching videos to provide a basis and context for the upcoming week's topic as well as data collection using simple tools like coins, dice, and cards. The data collected individually will be used in class to demonstrate certain statistical concepts.

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Required materials: TBD


About the teacher: Ellen Cox has been teaching, tutoring, and working with adolescents for 15 years. Ten of those years were spent at The Galloway School in Atlanta teaching Precalculus and AP Statistics. She majored in mathematics with a minor in Education at Clemson University, and she earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Ga. It was during her post-masters graduate work that she really began to love statistics. This was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with statistics and its intersection with current events and social justice. Ellen also spends a lot of her time running around after her curious, imaginative,  and energetic 3 and 6 year olds.