ORF 309 / EGR 309 / MAT 380 --- Spring 2018

Probability and Stochastic Systems

Basic info

Course description: This is an undergraduate introduction to probability and its applications. Topics include: basic principles of probability, lifetimes and reliability, Poisson processes, random walks, Brownian motion, branching processes, and Markov chains. The goal of the course is to teach you how to reason precisely about randomness and how to think probabilistically.

Prerequisites: MAT 201 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Miklos Z. Racz
Lecture time and location: MWF 11:00 - 11:50 am, 104 Computer Science
Office hours: W 9:00 - 11:00 am, 204 Sherrerd Hall (moves to 125 or 107 Sherrerd Hall in case of many students)

Teaching Assistants (AIs):


Grading and course policies

Grading: There will be homework problem sets throughout the semester (approximately weekly), as well as two midterms and a final exam.
Your final score is a combination of your performance in these, with the following breakdown:
Midterm #1 info: Wednesday, March 14, in class

Midterm #2 info: Wednesday, May 2, in class

Final info: 7:30 pm, Monday, 21 May, 2018; location: McCosh Hall 46

Homework and collaboration policy:
Please be considerate of the grader and write solutions neatly. Unreadable solutions will not be graded.
Please write each problem on a separate sheet and turn it in to the appropriate dropbox in 123 Sherrerd Hall.
Please write your name, Princeton email, and the names of other students you discussed with on the first page of your HW.
No late homework will be accepted. Your lowest homework score will be dropped.

You should first attempt to solve homework problems on your own.
You are encouraged to discuss any remaining difficulties in study groups of two to four people.
However, you must write up the solutions on your own and you must never read or copy the solutions of other students.
Similarly, you may use books or online resources to help solve homework problems, but you must always credit all such sources in your writeup, and you must never copy material verbatim.

Advice: do the homeworks! While homework is not a major part of the grade, the best way to understand the material is to solve many problems. In particular, the homeworks are designed to help you learn the material along the way.

Email policy: For questions about the material, please come to office hours.
For general interest questions, please post to the course Piazza page.
This facilitates quick and efficient communication with the class.
Please use email only for emergencies and administrative or personal matters.
Please include "ORF 309" in the subject line of any email about the course.


Main resource (required text): Piazza: The course has a Piazza page.
Think of this as a Q&A wiki for the course, use it for questions and discussions. For more details, see Piazza.


Classes begin on Monday, February 5.

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