S151 - Maths for Science

I’m insatiably nosy about other people’s courses, so I was very happy when Alex’s shiny new S151 textbook arrived on Monday. I was quite keen a have a look at the contents page and see what all this “Maths for science” business is about! I’m particularly intrigued by Section 9, the statistics bit, since I’m completely unfamiliar with those topics (I did learn a bit of stats in MST121, but I don’t think I could remember much of it now if I tried!).

Anyway, in case anyone is interested in taking S151 and wants a bit more information about the course material – or is just plain nosy like me – this is what the textbook covers:

1: Starting points
1.1 Numbers
1.2 Fractions
1.3 Powers, reciprocals and roots
1.4 Doing calculations in the right order

2: Measurement in science
2.1 Large and small quantities
2.2 Units of measurement
2.3 Scales of measurement
2.4 How precise are measurements?

3: Calculating in science
3.1 Calculating area: thinking about units and significant figures
3.2 Calculating in scientific notation
3.3 Estimating answers
3.4 Unit conversions
3.5 An introduction to symbols, equations and formulae

4: Algebra
4.1 Rearranging equations
4.2 Simplifying equations
4.3 Combining equations
4.4 Putting algebra to work

5: Using graphs
5.1 Graphical representation
5.2 Straight-line graphs
5.3 The equation of a straight line
5.4 Graphs of different shapes

6: Angles and trigonometry
6.1 Measuring angles: degrees and radians
6.2 A quick look at triangles
6.3 Calculating with angles: trigonometry
6.4 Small angle approximations

7: Logarithms
7.1 Logarithms to base 10
7.2 Logarithm scales revisited
7.3 Rules of logarithms
7.4 Using logarithms to make curves straight
7.5 Logarithms to base e

8: Probability and descriptive statistics
8.1 Chance and probability
8.2 Descriptive statistics

9: Statistical hypothesis testing
9.1 The principles of hypothesis testing
9.2 Deciding which test to use; levels of measurement
9.3 The χ2 test
9.4 The Spearman rank correlation coefficient
9.5 The t-test for unmatched samples
9.6 Other statistical tests

10: Differentiation
10.1 Drawing tangents to curves
10.2 An introduction to differentiation
10.3 Differentiating exponential functions

I’m very pleased to see that they’ve managed to get a bit of calculus in at the end there – I’ve been banging on about the subject to Alex for the whole of Block C of MS221, so it’ll be nice for him to finally see what I’m rambling about!

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