ECS 256, Winter Quarter 2014, Update
Here is an UPDATE to
my earlier announcement on ECS 256, Winter 2014.
- I am still revising the textbook, so don't print it out yet, but
the one here is close to
Actually, you don't have to print the book even after it is
finalized, since we don't have exams. Putting the book on a laptop
or a tablet is fine. You do need to have some form of the book, as I
will lecture from the book. In each lecture, I'll ask everyone to look
at a particular page in the book, and then I'll start talking about
what's there. Hopefully a lot of class discussion will arise in that
process. triggered by it.
- Our coverage of the textbook will consist (more or less in this
order) of Chapters 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26.
- For the probability prerequisite, it is assumed that you have
previouusly taken a course covering most of the material covered in
Chapter 12, titled Stop and Review: Probability Structures. The main
exception is the concept of iterated expectations, which will be new to
most of you, and which I will cover in detail in class (Chapter 15).
- You need to have some background in matrix algebra. See Appendix B
of the textbook.
- It is assumed that you have had some exposure to R programming,
along the lines of Appendix A in the text. Of course, you can acquire
that now if you haven't used R before. We will be using basic R quite a
bit, and will also cover some advanced topics in R programming.
Note, though, that this is fundamentally a math course, not a programming
course. If your main goal is to learn more about R, this may not be the
right course for you.
There are no exams, quizzes etc. of any kind. Grading is based
solely on the homework, which is done in groups and graded
interactively. We will have a TA, but I will do the interactive
grading myself. During grading sessions, I will ask each member of the
given group questions like, "What does this really mean, intuitively?",
"What if the problem statement were changed to such-and-such?" Each
group member must know the group's entire submitted work thoroughly,
and be ready for such questions; again, this is the sole component of
- For those of you who have taken ECS 132 with me, the pattern will
be similar, except for the lack of exams. For this latter reason, the
workload will be somewhat less than that of 132.