STA256f19: Probability and Statistics I

University of Toronto Mississauga, Fall 2019

Section Time and Location Instructor
LEC0101 Tues. 1:10-3:00 in KN 137 and Thursday 1:10-2:00 in DV 2074  Jerry Brunner 
LEC0102  Tues. 1:10-2:00 and Thursday 1:10-3:00 in IB 120  Luai Al Labadi 
LEC0103 Tues. 2:10-3:00 in IB 120 and Thursday 3:10-5:00 in DV2072  Ramya Thinniyam 
TUT0101 Monday 3-4 in DH 2080 Ali Takahashi
TUT0102 Monday 4-5 in DH 2080 Dashvin Singh
TUT0103 Monday 5-6 in IB 360 Dashvin Singh
TUT0104 Monday 6-7 in IB 240 Ali Takahashi
TUT0105 Wednesday 4-5 in IB 360 Marie-Louise Ferguson
TUT0106 Wednesday 5-6 in IB 360 Marie-Louise Ferguson
TUT0107 Friday 9-10 in IB 200 Crendall Castro
TUT0108 Friday 10-11 in DH 2070 Ali Takahashi
TUT0109 Friday 10-11 in DV 3093 Crendall Castro
TUT0110 Friday 11-12 in DH 2070 Ali Takahashi
TUT0111 Friday 11-12 in DV 3093 Crendall Castro
TUT0112 Friday 12-1 in DH 2070 Crendall Castro
TUT0113 Friday 4-5 in DV 3093 Karan Agarwal
TUT0114 Friday 5-6 in IB 360 Karan Agarwal
TUT0115 Friday 6-7 in IB 360 Karan Agarwal
TUT0116 Wednesday 1-12 in DH 2070 Anastasia Loginova
TUT0117 Wednesday 12-1 in IB 260 Anastasia Loginova

Instructor Office Phone email Office Hours
Jerry Brunner DH 3028 905-828-3816 brunner[at] Tuesday 11:10-12:00 & 3:10-4:00, and Thursday 2:10-3:00
Luai Al Labadi DH 3072 luai.allabadi[at] Monday & Wednesday: 12:30-1:30, and Tuesday & Thursday: 11:30-12:30
Ramya Thinniyam DH 3033 ramya.thinniyam[at] Monday 2:10 - 4:00 and Wednesday 1:10 - 3:00
Karan Agarwal CC 2110 karan.agarwal[at] Friday 7:10 - 8:00
Crendall Castro CC 2110 crendall.castro[at] Monday 1:10 - 2:00 (new time)
Marie-Louise Ferguson CC 2110 marielouise.ferguson[at] Wednesday 6:00 - 7:00
Anastasia Loginova CC 2110 anastasia.loginova[at] Thursday 12:10 - 1:00
Dashvin Singh CC 2110 dashvin.singh[at] Tuesday 4:10 - 5:00
Ali Takahashi CC 2110 ali.takahashi[at] Monday 4:10 - 5:00

Textbook: Probability and Statistics: The Science of Uncertainty (2nd edition) by Evans and Rosenthal.

Topics: Probability models, Random variables and distributions, Expected value, Sampling distributions and limits. This is Chapters 1-4 in the textbook.

Prerequisites: MAT134Y or MAT135Y or MAT137Y or MAT157Y or 75%+ in MAT133Y.
Co-requisite: MAT233H for students with MAT133. For others, MAT232H is strongly recommended.
Note that students without prerequisites and co-requisites may be removed from the course at any time during the term.

Grading: There will be three term tests, given in lecture. For lecture section LEC0101 (Brunner), the test dates are Oct. 1st, Nov. 5th and Dec. 3d. For lecture sections LEC0102 and LEC10103 (Al Labadi and Thinniyam), the test dates are Oct. 3d, Nov. 7th and Nov. 28th. Term tests are worth 15% each. There will also be a 3-hour comprehensive final exam worth 55% of the mark.

The final exam will be identical for all three sections, and it will be marked jointly by all the professors and TAs, working together. The term tests will not be identical. The term test you take will be made up by your professor, and marked by your professor with TA assistance. We will try to keep coverage, difficulty level and marking criteria consistent across all three lecture sections, but it's not going to be perfect. To make the process more fair, test marks in the two lowest-scoring lecture sections will be bumped so that the median test mark is equal for all three lecture sections -- equal to the highest median mark. This will be done separately for each term test. So for example, if the median mark on Test 1 for LEC0101 is 70%, the median for LEC0102 is 68% and the median for LEC0103 is 65%, then everybody in LEC0102 gets a 2-point bonus and everyone in LEC0103 gets a 5-point bonus. These bonuses will show up online, not on your test papers. This is the only case where marks will be bumped in this course.

In spite of the 45% for term work and 55% for the final, a good performance on the final exam can save a student from failing the course. Suppose your final average including the final exam is less than 50%. If your mark on the final exam is at least 70%, or your mark on the final is at or above the class median, then you will get a mark of 50% for the course. This rule is intended to give hope to students who have messed up on the tests, and to encourage them to study for the final exam.

Homework: There will be weekly homework assignments. They will be taken up in tutorial, but they will not be handed in. Homework assignments are preparation for the term tests and the final exam. Test and exam questions will be based closely on homework. The general rule is that if an idea or method is required to do the homework, then you are responsible for it. Otherwise, you are not. Sometimes, proofs and derivations from lecture or the text will appear directly as homework problems. This is a sign that you are responsible for them.

Tutorials: The tutorials are for help with homework. You are officially enrolled in a particular tutorial section, but that does not matter. You may attend any tutorial you wish. Feel free to go to more than one tutorial if you have a lot of questions, or if you just feel like it.

Policy for missed work: If you miss a term test without a valid excuse, the mark is zero. If you miss one term test or two term tests with a valid excuse, no makeup will be given. Your mark on the final exam will be substituted, with a bump for the difference between the term test median and the final exam median. In the unlikely event that you miss all three term tests with a valid excuse for each one, a three-hour make-up test combining all the material covered in the course will be held on Thursday, December 5th. These marks will not be bumped.

What is a valid excuse? This decision will be made by the professor of the lecture section in which you are officially enrolled. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR REQUEST AND SUBMIT ALL DOCUMENTATION WITHIN ONE WEEK OF THE MISSED TEST except in the case of very serious, incapacitating illness. You will be notified of the decision by email, possibly after a conversation with your professor. Here are some guidelines.

If you miss a quiz for medical reasons, you must submit a University of Toronto Medical Certificate (not just a note), to the professor of the section in which you are officially enrolled. The form is available at

The certificate must include the statement that you were unable to write the quiz for medical reasons. If the certificate does not clearly indicate that you were unable to function, the excuse will not be accepted. Documentation must show that the physician was consulted on the day of the test, or on the next day. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is not acceptable.

As another example of an excuse that is not acceptable, automotive breakdown or other transportation problems are never valid excuses. If you miss a test because you are taking another class at the same time as this one, that is not a valid excuse. If UTM is officially open, weather is a valid excuse only if more than 50% of the class miss the test.

Again, all documentation must be submitted to your professor within one week of the missed test.

Email policy: In general, we are unable to answer technical questions about the course material by email. Typing, or writing out and scanning the answers is just too time consuming. Even for administrative matters, it is usually best to contact your professor or TA in person. An exception is that if you miss a term test, please send your professor an email about it as well as bringing hard copy of any documentation to lecture (before or after class) or office hours. Your professor will notify you of his or her decision by email.

Jerry does not look at messages sent by Quercus Messenger. Luai and Ramya will have their own policies and preferences.

Missed Final Exam: If you miss the final exam, you must file a petition to defer the exam along with supporting documentation within 72 hours of the missed exam. See for details.

Accessibility Needs: We are committed to accessibility. If you require accommodations for a disability, or have any accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom or course materials, please contact Jerry or Accessibility Services (visit or email as soon as possible.