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Math 678: Introduction to Statistical Methods in Data Science
Spring 2018 Course Syllabus

NJIT Academic Integrity Code: All Students should be aware that the Department of Mathematical Sciences takes the University Code on Academic Integrity at NJIT very seriously and enforces it strictly. This means that there must not be any forms of plagiarism, i.e., copying of homework, class projects, or lab assignments, or any form of cheating in quizzes and exams. Under the University Code on Academic Integrity, students are obligated to report any such activities to the Instructor.

Course Information

Course Description: This course introduces to students concepts in statistical methods used in data science, including data collection, data visualization and data analysis. Emphasis is on model building and statistical concepts related to data analysis methods. The course provides the basic foundational tools on which to pursue statistics, data analysis and data science in greater depth. Topics include sampling and experimental design, understanding the aims of a study, principles of data analysis, linear and logistic regression, resampling methods, and statistical learning methods. Students will use the R statistical software.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: MATH 333 with a grade of C or better or MATH 341 with a grade of C or better

Course-Section and Instructors

Course-Section Instructor
Math 678-002 Professor Y. Fang

Office Hours for All Math Instructors: Spring 2018 Office Hours and Emails

Required Textbook:

Title An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R
Author Gareth James, et al.
Edition 1st (2013 ed.)
Publisher Springer
ISBN # 978-1461471370

University-wide Withdrawal Date: The last day to withdraw with a W is Monday, April 2, 2018. It will be strictly enforced.


DMS Course Policies: All DMS students must familiarize themselves with, and adhere to, the Department of Mathematical Sciences Course Policies, in addition to official university-wide policies. DMS takes these policies very seriously and enforces them strictly.

Grading Policy: The final grade in this course will be determined as follows:

Assignments 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

Your final letter grade will be based on the following tentative curve.

A 90 - 100 C+ 70 - 79
B+ 85 - 89 C 60 - 69
B 80 – 84 F 0 - 59

Attendance Policy: Attendance at all classes will be recorded and is mandatory. Please make sure you read and fully understand the Math Department’s Attendance Policy. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Exams: There will be one midterm exam held in class during the semester and one comprehensive final exam. Exams are held on the following days:

Midterm Exam Week of March 5, 2018
Final Exam Period May 4 - 10, 2018

The final exam will test your knowledge of all the course material taught in the entire course. Make sure you read and fully understand the Math Department's Examination Policy. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Makeup Exam Policy: There will be No make-up QUIZZES OR EXAMS during the semester. In the event an exam is not taken under rare circumstances where the student has a legitimate reason for missing the exam, the student should contact the Dean of Students office and present written verifiable proof of the reason for missing the exam, e.g., a doctor’s note, police report, court notice, etc. clearly stating the date AND time of the mitigating problem. The student must also notify the Math Department Office/Instructor that the exam will be missed.

Cellular Phones: All cellular phones and other electronic devices must be switched off during all class times.

Additional Resources

Further Assistance: For further questions, students should contact their instructor. All instructors have regular office hours during the week. These office hours are listed on the Math Department's webpage for Instructor Office Hours and Emails.

All students must familiarize themselves with and adhere to the Department of Mathematical Sciences Course Policies, in addition to official university-wide policies. The Department of Mathematical Sciences takes these policies very seriously and enforces them strictly.

Accommodation of Disabilities: Disability Support Services (DSS) offers long term and temporary accommodations for undergraduate, graduate and visiting students at NJIT.

If you are in need of accommodations due to a disability please contact Chantonette Lyles, Associate Director of Disability Support Services at 973-596-5417 or via email at The office is located in Fenster Hall Room 260. A Letter of Accommodation Eligibility from the Disability Support Services office authorizing your accommodations will be required.

For further information regarding self identification, the submission of medical documentation and additional support services provided please visit the Disability Support Services (DSS) website at:

Important Dates (See: Spring 2018 Academic Calendar, Registrar)

Date Day Event
January 16, 2018 T First Day of Classes
January 22, 2018 M Last Day to Add/Drop Classes
March 11 - 18, 2018 Su - Su Spring Recess - No Classes/ University Closed
March 30, 2018 F Good Friday - No Classes/ University Closed
April 2, 2018 M Last Day to Withdraw
May 1, 2018 T Friday Classes Meet - Last Day of Classes
May 2 - 3, 2018 W - R Reading Days
May 4 - 10, 2018 F - R Final Exam Period

Course Outline

Week M Topic R Topic Notes
1  Jan 15  No class – MLK Day  Jan 18  Intro to data science (Ch 1)
2  Jan 22  Statistical learning (Ch 2)  Jan 25  Stat learning cont’d (Ch 2)  Feb 1 Assign HW 1
3  Jan 29  k-NN (Ch 3)  Feb 1  R lab (Ch 3)  
4  Feb 5  Linear regression (Ch 3)   Feb 8  R lab (Ch 3) Assign HW 2
5  Feb 12  Logistic regression (Ch 4)  Feb 15  R lab (Ch 4)
6  Feb 19  LDA (Ch 4)  Feb 22  R lab (Ch 4) Assign HW 3
7  Feb 26  Case studies  Mar 1  Case studies
8  Mar 5  Mid-exam (In-class part)  Mar 8  Mid-exam (Take-home part) Midterm exam
9  Mar 12  No class  Mar 15  No class Spring Recess
10  Mar 19  Cross-validation (Ch 5)  Mar 22  R lab (Ch 5)  
11  Mar 26  Variable selection (Ch 6)  Mar 29  R lab (Ch 6) Assign HW 4
12  Apr 2  Regularization (Ch 6)  Apr 5  R lab (Ch 6)
13  Apr 9  Non-linear modeling (Ch 7)  Apr 12  R lab (Ch 7) Assign HW 5
14  Apr 16  CART with R (Ch 8)  Apr 19  RF and Boosting (Ch 8)
15  Apr 23  SVM and Neural Net (Ch 9)  Apr 26  K-means clustering (Ch 10)
16  Apr 30  Final exam review  May 3  Reading day Exams May 4 - 10

Updated by Professor Y. Fang - 1/18/2018
Department of Mathematical Sciences Course Syllabus, Spring 2018