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 2014: 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 Faculty Handbook entry for MATH1015

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 at retail price $79.95 and member price $72.75. 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 and more problems are also added. Please compare the differences and decide whether you should 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 the dates of quizzes and assignments and attend the quizzes on their tutorial groups. Not knowling that a quiz is on is not an acceptable reason for missing it.
  • 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. 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 both 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 two closed book quizzes during this semester. Each quiz worths 15% towards the final mark. It consists of 15 multiple choice (MC) questions each with five possible choices and only one of them is correct. Mark your correct choice in pen.

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.

Quiz 1: Week 6 (beginning on 7 April) in your tutorial class.

Revise yourself using:
  • Practice Quiz 1 Answers
  • Two practice quizzes from the textbook (P 265-269: ignore Q12, Q13 and Q15 from Set 1A and Q11, Q12 and Q13 from set 1B) with answers.

    Note that these practice quizzes do not reflect or indicate the true nature of the real quiz.

  • Required knowledge: Week 1 to Week 5 (both inclusive).
  • A practical knowledge of R is required to answer some questions.

Quiz 2: Week 11 (beginning on 19 May) in your tutorial class.

REVISE yourself using (you need ALL material/knowledge upto and including week 10):

  • Practice Quiz 2 Answers
  • Answers to BOOK Practice Quizzes 2A and 2B
  • Required knowledge: Week 1 to Week 10 (both inclusive). However, more weight will be given to the material from week 6 to week 10 (both inclusive).
  • A practical knowledge of R is required to answer some questions.
    Attempt Web Quizzes 1 to 5 (for revision) and 6 to 11 (except questions 9 and 10 of QUIZ 7 ). DO NOT ATTEMPT QUIZ 12 (this is to be covered in weeks 11 to 13. If you are unsure, check with your tutor).

Assignment: 5% - Due on Thursday 1 May

  • Assignment
  • Solutions to Assignment
  • Cover sheet
  • Writing and Submission Instructions:

    Your assignment may be hand-written or typed but it should show all working. It is optional for you to include R commands and results as a check of your answers. The assignment is due by 4 pm Thursday 1 May. It should be lodged in the locked collection boxes on the verandah of Carslaw Level 3. These boxes are at the end of the verandah closest to Eastern Avenue (not the locked collection boxes near the pyramids on Carslaw Level 3, nor the open pigeonholes.) Your assignment should be stapled inside a manila folder, on the front of which you should write the initial of your family name as a LARGE letter. A cover sheet must be signed and attached.

  • Note: Assignments are to be handed in the locked collection boxes on the verandah of Carslaw Level 3. These boxes are at the end of the verandah closest to Eastern Avenue. They should NOT be submitted in the 2nd year locked boxes opposite the pyramid garden, nor in the open pigeonholes.

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. 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) immediately (in the same week).
  • Students can see the lecturer at his advertised consultation time, Tuesdays 1-2pm (or by appointment) in Carslaw 819 for any help related to MATH1015 including completing any missing notes.
  • Additional help is available for all enrolled students. Consult Mathematics Student Sevices Office (Carslaw 520) and Mathematics Learning Centre for details.
  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4
  • Week 5 - Solutions to P15-17
  • Week 6
  • Week 7
  • Week 8
  • Week 9
  • Week 10 - R commands for the t-test
  • Week 11
  • Week 12
  • Week 13

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 sheets from the web, and bring to their tutorials.
  • 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.

Stu-vac and Pre-exam Consultations:


**Wednesday 11 June - 10am to 12N in Carslaw Room 819**


**Friday 13 June - 10am to 12N in Carslaw Room 819**


**Thursday 19 June - 10am to 12N in Carslaw Room 819**


**Friday 20 June - 10am to 12N in Carslaw Room 819**



Twelve self-test web quizzes are given below. However, they do not appear in the order of weekly lecture material.

For QUIZ1 (Week 6):
Attempt only Web Quizzes 1 to 5. However, some topics have not yet covered. Therefore, ignore: QUIZ 3: questions 4 to 10 and QUIZ 4: question 1 as they are related to a future topic on correlation and regression to be covered in week 12. If you are unsure, check with your tutor.

For QUIZ2 (Week 11):
Attempt Web Quizzes 1 to 5 (for revision. See above for exceptions) and 6 to 11 (EXCEPT QUIZ 7: questions 9 and 10; QUIZ 10: questions 1, 2 and 5; QUIZ 11: questions 5, 7, 8 and 9). Ignore QUIZ 12 completely as this will be covered in weeks 11-13. If you are unsure, then check with your lecturer or tutor.

Check your marks

Please check that your mark for Quiz 1, Assignment and Quiz 2 have been recorded correctly by entering your 9 digit SID into the box below and then pressing the "Check marks" button.


Please note that any corrections to Quiz 1 marks must be made by Friday, May 2nd.
Please note that any corrections to Assignment marks must be made by Wednesday 14 May 2014.
Please note that any corrections to Quiz 2 marks must be made by Tuesday 3 June 2014.

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


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