CSE 103. A Practical Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Combinatorics. Distributions over discrete and continuous domains. Conditional probability and Independence. Bayesian inference. Random variables, expectation, mean, variance and covariance. Binomial and Poisson distributions. Markov and Chebyshev’s inequalities. Central limit theorem. Hypothesis testing. Learning classifiers.

CSE 103 is not duplicate credit for ECE 109, Econ 120A, or Math 183.

Prerequisites: Math 20A and Math 20B.

Plan of classes

  • Week1: Introduction and motivation. Sets. (Chapters 1,2)
  • Week2: Finite uniform probability spaces, basic combinatorics. (Chapters 3,4)
  • Week3: Poker problems, general probability spaces, Converging/diverging series, CDFs (chapters 4.5, 5)
  • Week4: Conditional probabilities, Bayes, Monti Hall, Game theory, Conditional Poker, (chapter 6)
  • Week5: Random variablesExpectation and variance, expectations that are infinite or undefined. (Chapter 7)
  • Week6: Covariance, correlation coefficient and independence. Exponential and poisson distributions (Chapter 8)
  • Week7: Samping, central limit theorem, hypothesis testing (Chapter 9)
  • Week8: Randomized Algorithms 1 (Chapter 10.1 - 10.4)
  • Week9: Randomized Algorithm 2 (10.5 - 10.7)
  • Week10: Review.


The final number grade will be an average:

  • 50% Grades on EdX homework. The lowest 2 grades will be dropped.
  • 40% Final Exam
  • 20% Class Participation

  • There will be no Midterms.

Students that are on the waiting list are expected to do the assignments for the class until the time that they know they will not be able to join the class. It will not be possible for such students to do the assignments later.

Class Participation

Class participation is graded as follows:

  • Each student is expected to ask 2-4 good questions during the quarter. Each good question is worth 5 points.
  • Questions can be asked during class, during sections, in private conversations with instructor or TAs, or on Piazza.
  • The Instructor/TA that was asked the question decides whether this was a good question. Good questions aim to improve understanding, not just to find the correct answer to a problem. A good question is designated “POP”
  • The student that asked a POP question publishes it, together with the answer, on Piazza. In the body of the question write “POP question made to XXX”
  • The instructor/TA marks the question as “good question” and gives the students 5 point of class participation.
  • Any question or answer on piazza can be marked as “good question” / “good answer” and earn 5 points for the students who wrote them. However, these questions/answered should not be marked as “POP”.
  • When posting a question on Piazza, check first whether a similar question has been answered before.