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Scott Hottovy

SM473 Randomness in the Real World

On this page, you will find information for SM473, Randomness in the Real-world (SMP Capstone).

Below you will find assignments and course material. 

Syllabus: Posted here.

Course Policies: Posted here


    Tips and Suggestions for write up:

  • Observe rules of academic integrity. Handing in plagiarized work, whether copied from a fellow student or off the web, is not acceptable. Plagiarism cases will lead to sanctions.
  • Homework is collected at the beginning of the class period on the due date. No late assignments will be accepted. You can bring the homework earlier to the instructor's office or email it.
  • Working in groups on homework assignments is strongly encouraged; however, every student must write their own assignments.
  • Organize your work neatly. Use proper English. Write in complete English or mathematical sentences. Answers should be simplified as much as possible. If the answer is a simple fraction or expression, a decimal answer from a calculator is not necessary. For some exercises, you will need a calculator to get the final answer.
  • MATLAB portions should either be incorporated into the homework write up, or emailed and referred to in the homework. 
  • Put problems in the correct order and staple your pages together.
  • Do not use paper torn out of a binder.
  • Be neat. There should not be text crossed out.
  • Recopy your problems. Do not hand in your rough draft or first attempt.
  • Papers that are messy, disorganized or unreadable cannot be graded.
  • I strongly encourage you to type up your solutions (perhaps using Latex).


  1. Homework 1 (Random Variables and Conditional Probability)
  2. Homework 2 (Black-Jack)
  3. Homework 3 (A renewal process modeling rainfall)
  4. Homework 4 (A Poisson process to model neuron spikes)
  5. Homework 5 (A population growth with randomness)
    1. bestep_general.m

Project Assignments:

Useful Information

  • Study Skills: The value you get out of this course is proportional to the effort you put into it. Keep in mind that the primary goal (and your responsibility) is not just doing the problems, but rather understanding the material. Exercises that ask for verbal explanations should be answered in complete sentences. Suggestions on how to study mathematics may be found on pp. 8-10 of the Academic Center's Academic Success Handbook.

Modifications of the syllabus: Your instructor may modify the schedule and list of problems.

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