MATH1015 Biostatistics

General Information

MATH1015 is a Junior (or first-year) unit forming part of the Fundamental Mathematics stream.

Note that students wishing to study junior level statistics may choose MATH1015 or the second semester unit MATH1005, which has a similar syllabus.

  • Credit point value: 3CP.
  • Classes per week: Two lectures and one tutorial.
  • Lecturer(s) in 2015: Shelton Peiris .
  • Email contact address:
    Students: please check if your question can be answered by referring to the FAQ page before emailing us. If you decide to email us please include your name and SID.

You may also view the description of MATH1015 in the University's course search database.

Information sheet for MATH1015

All students should read the information sheet. The information includes (for example) details of the assessment procedure, including dates of assessment tasks.

Answers to frequently asked questions

See the main junior mathematics page for information relating to all junior mathematics units, and see in particular the Junior Maths FAQ page.

Online Resources

Calculator Policy

  • The University of Sydney will no longer be supplying calculators for exams. Students will be able to use their own calculators, so long as they are on an approved list.
  • For more information click here.
  • Here is an example of how to use one of the approved calculators: Casio fx85MS Information/Basic Instructions

General Information

  • The textbook is MATH1015 BIOSTATISTICS (3rd Edition) - Custom Publishing for The University of Sydney CENGAGE Learning (2013). It is available from the book store. Some of you asked whether you can buy the 2nd edition book. The differences between the 2nd and 3rd editions are on Chapters 5 and 6 which are completely new for the 3nd edition. More problems are also added in the new edition.
  • The Student Office is Carslaw room 520. Any administrative enquiries should be made there.
  • Checking the websites regularly (both the Junior Mathematics page, and the unit pages) is very important.
  • Students should note carefully the assessment procedure for this unit (see the unit information sheet).
  • There is an FAQ webpage, accessible from the Junior Mathematics page, which should be checked before making email enquiries.
  • Please note the eligibility for using the Maths Learning Centre (MLC).
  • Beginning in week 3, students will be able to seek help with the material from "duty tutors" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-2pm, in Carslaw room 830. (This is in addition to lecturers' consultations.)
  • On any day of tutorial which is a public holiday, students can attend any other tutorials on voluntary base or simply attempt the tutorial questions by themselves. As attending a tutorial in this case is optional, the tutors will not mark these attendances.
  • We have set up consultation time to help you in preparing for the final exam in June. Please also note the front page of exam. page and formula sheet. All these informations are available below under Examination.

R Software

This freely available software package R will be used to introduce statistical computing related to this course. There will be some R related questions in quizzes during the semester. However, any direct questions from R will NOT be examined in the final examination in June.
This basic training on R will be useful for students to develop such skills in future.

Data Sets

Formulae Sheet

Statistical Tables

  • All tables
  • All the necessary tables will be provided in all assessments (quizzes and final exam).


Exam at end of semester 1: 65%

Quizzes: 30%

There will be computer generated quizzes in your each tutorial class from week 2, accessible only in the last 15 minutes. Each quiz consists of 3 multiple choice (MC) questions; each with five possible choices and only one of them is correct. Electronic mark your correct choice. Each quiz contributes 3% towards your final mark.

Students can access the School's Computer Network/website to get formulae sheet, statistical tables, basic R commands and other required information. There will be some questions related to use of the statistical package R. You are NOT allowed to USE your own LAPTOP/computer/smartphone during this quiz, unless there are valid reasons through medical and/or disability services.

Attempt Web Quizzes for self practice. Note that they are not in the same order as lectures.

Assignment: 5%

  • Writing and Submission Instructions:
  • Your assignment may be hand-written or typed. However, it should show all working very clearly. It is optional for you to use R. However, if you use R to answer any question, it is necessary to include R commands and results.

  • Due in week 8 in your tutorial class.

    Incomplete Summary Lecture Notes

    (Links below will be updated regularly. Look at only available information.)

    • Students are advised to download, print and bring these incomplete lecture notes to fill any missing gaps during the lectures. This encourages active participation and learning experience for all students.
    • Completed notes are NOT AVAILABLE from this website. If you cannot complete these notes (eg. miss or late for a lecture) during the lecture time, ask a friend or your lecturer (A/Prof. Peiris or dr Di Warren) immediately (in the same week).
    • Students can see the lecturer at his advertised consultation time, Mondays 1-2 pm (Dr Warren in Carslaw 527) or Tuesdays 1-2pm (A/Prof Peiris in Carslaw 819) for any help related to MATH1015.
    • Additional help is available for all enrolled students. Consult Mathematics Student Sevices Office (Carslaw 520) and Mathematics Learning Centre for details.
    • Week 1/2 (available now)
    • Week 2/3 (will be available later)
    • Week 3 (will be available later)
    • Week 4 (will be available later)
    • Week 5 (will be available later) - Solutions to P15-17
    • Week 6 (will be available later)
    • Week 7 (will be available later)
    • Week 8 (will be available later)
    • Week 9 (will be available later)
    • Week 10 (will be available later)- R commands for the t-test
    • Week 11 (will be available later)
    • Week 12(will be available later)
    • Week 13 (will be available later)

    Weekly Tutorials/Solutions

    • Read Login and R information on R Software handout.
    • Week 1: Login to a computer in any computer lab on level 6 or 7, Carslaw building at your free times. Attempt the problems on sheet 1. No tutors are available in week 1.
    • Week2: Tutor assisted tutorials start in week 2.
    • Students must print out the current week´s tutorial sheet from the web, and bring to their class/es.
    • Students should attempt the tutorial questions before the tutorials and discuss any problems with their tutors during the tutorials.

    (Links below will be updated regularly. Look at only available information.)


    These three exam papers will provide an indication of the final examination in June. You are encouraged to attempt these questions and revise the course material. Answers will be discussed in week13 Revision Lecture and Tutorial.

    The teaching material appearing on this web site is intended for the use of enrolled students of the University of Sydney, and (unless otherwise specified) the University of Sydney holds copyright. Any other person or institution wishing to use any of this material must contact the university to make appropriate arrangements.

    Useful Links


  • For questions or comments please contact