Welcome to STAT 100!

About this Course

Welcome to the course notes for STAT 100: Statistical Concepts and Reasoning. These notes are designed and developed by Penn State's Department of Statistics and offered as open educational resources. These notes are free to use under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 4.0.

Currently enrolled?

If you are a current student in this course, please see Canvas for your syllabus, assignments, lesson videos and communication from your instructor.

How to enroll?

If you would like to enroll and experience the entire course for credit please see 'How to enroll in a course' on the World Campus website.

Course Overview

Statistics is the art and science of using sample data to understand something about the world (or a population) in the context of uncertainty. It is the science of learning from data.

The 'Big Picture' of statistics
of Statistics
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Gather Data

Take a representative sample from the population.

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Question or Idea?

What do we want to know about a population?

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Descriptive Statistics

Describe the sample data numerically and visually.

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Inferential Statistics

Test a hypothesis, estimate a value or examine a relationship in the sample data to make inferences about the population.


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Our hope is that after this course you will have developed a solid foundation in basic statistical ideas, learned how to relate those ideas to everyday life, and appreciate the importance of such an understanding.

Course Goals

The objective of this course is to improve a student's basic understanding of...

  1. How to design a study or experiment;
  2. How the type of conclusions we draw from data are related to how they were collected;
  3. How to create and interpret summaries and graphs that show the salient features of data;
  4. Basic concepts of probability - the language of uncertainty
  5. How to spot statistical issues in the news and their effect on the veracity of claims made; and
  6. How to interpret statistical inferences made by Confidence Intervals and Significance Tests.