ECON 309
Use & Interpretation of Economic Data
Fall 2010

Note Summaries

I will post notes here as they
become available.  Do not depend
on these notes!  I do not guarantee
their timely availability.

Lecture 1: The Basics
Lecture 2: Use & Abuse of Statistics
Lecture 3: Use & Abuse of Graphs
Lecture 4: Sampling Issues
Lecture 5: Causation & Correlation
Lecture 6: Probability
Lecture 7A: Confidence Intervals
Lecture 7B: Hypothesis Testing
Lecture 8: Simple Regression
Lecture 9: Multiple Regression
Lecture 10: Regression Difficulties
Lecture 11: Disaggregation



Check this space regularly for
class-related announcements and info.

  1. I have now compared the 1st and 2nd editions of Donnelly. The chapters are the same, and the practice problems are only slightly different. I have made some small changes to the syllabus to reflect the differences.
  2. The first completion assignment has been posted (see Completion Assignments).
  3. Please download and listen to the RadioLab podcast titled "Shorts: Secrets of Success," available here. We will discuss it in class on 9/18.
  4. REMINDER: There will NO CLASS on Saturday, 9/25.
  5. I have posted your second completion assignment (see Completion Assignments). This will be due at our next class meeting. As with all completion assignments, I expect a hard copy.
  6. You do not need to turn in Assignment #3. It is there only for practice to prepare you for the midterm exam.
  7. I need the students who are taking the Writing Proficiency Exam on Saturday to email me with their test times.
  8. Everyone should read the Test-Taking Guide (below) to prepare for the exam.
  9. Here is a preliminary schedule for the presentations. It provides both your day (11/13 or 11/20) and your position in the speaking order. If you can find another student in the class who would like to trade days or positions with you, let me know and I will make the switch.
  10. Here is the grading rubric for the presentation, which tells you everything you need to say during your speech.
  11. Assignment #5 has been posted (below right). It is due on Saturday, 11/6. The notes from the most recent lecture have been posted; you may need to refer to these to complete the assignment.
  12. Please remember to send me your presentation graph on a PowerPoint slide (just ONE slide!) by Thursday, 11/11. And don't forget to read the grading rubric (see above, note 10) before you present.
  13. REGRESSION ASSIGNMENT NOW AVAILABLE. Read the instructions first, then download the regressionF10.txt data set. The due date has been pushed a few days to 11/23.
  14. I have posted the mileage1key Excel file under the Lecture 9 Notes. We went over this example in class. It could help you with your regression assignment, especially part 5.
  15. I have decided to alllow you to use a formula sheet during your final exam. (You're welcome.) Here is the formula sheet you'll be able to use. You will also be provided with a z-table and t-table.
  16. I have created a list of concepts to help you with your studying. This list does not necessarily include everything you need to know; in general, if we discussed something in class, you're responsible for it. (If that link doesn't work for you, try this one.)


Completion Assignments

Completion assignments will be posted
be posted here as they become available.

Assignment 1:  distributions.txt
Assignment 2: cyborgs.txt
Assignment 3: bayesrule.txt
Assignment 4: normalmilk.txt
Assignment 5: grapes.txt


Fall 2010 Syllabus

The Test-Taking Guide

Presentation Grading Form

Academic honesty policy

Drop policy

Make-up exam policy



Contact Glen Whitman with any questions about this page. 
This page was last modified 5 December 2010.