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

Class representatives

Elise Bickley, Dean Bonnici, Sarah Cutter-Russell, Editha Halim, Amy Wenham, Lydia Conti and Annabel Bolding have volunteered to be your class representatives. They will meet shortly with the Head of School or the Director of First Year. We would like to know what you like about the unit and where things can be improved. If you have any issues you would like discussed, please email your representatives and let them know your views.

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 porst 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 1-2pm, in Carslaw room 830 and Thursdays 1-2pm, in Carslaw room 829. (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 this information is 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, of which only one is correct. You will be automatically awarded 1 mark for each question you answer correctly, giving you a mark out of 3 for each quiz. Each quiz contributes 3% towards your final mark in MATH1015.

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.

Start the tutorial quiz for the current week. (This is available only in the last 15 minutes of your tutorial.)

Attention to all students:

"Please note that these weekly quizzes are randomly generated by the system, which automatically checks the answers and records the marks. Therefore, we cannot release these quiz sheets for students. However, you can practice Multiple Choice (MC) questions using the web quizzes and weekly tutorials. We will add more questions in tutorials to practice."

You can view your results in each quiz, but not until the week after the week in which the quiz took place.

There are self-test web quizzes available for practice: see Useful Links below. Note that they are not in the same order as lectures.

Assignment: 5%

  • Writing and Submission Instructions.

    For full marks, please follow all instructions on the top of the Assignment.

  • The assignment will be due in week 8 at the beginning of yout tutorial class.

Incomplete Summary Lecture Notes

The links below will be updated regularly, as the material is released

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).

For any help related to MATH1015, students can see the lecturer at the advertised consultation time: Mondays 1-2 pm (Dr Warren in Carslaw 527) or Tuesdays 1-2pm (A/Prof Peiris in Carslaw 819). In week 12, Dr Warren's consultation time will be Monday 12-1pm in Carslaw 527.

Additional help is available for all enrolled students. Consult Mathematics Student Sevices Office (Carslaw 520) and Mathematics Learning Centre for details.

There are 13 parts of MATH1015 notes. Each part approximately cover the material as indicated below:

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 it to their class/es.
  • Students should attempt the tutorial questions before the tutorials and discuss any problems with their tutors during the tutorials.

The links below will be updated regularly as the material is released

Past exam papers for self-practice

These four 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 to 2014 Exam will be discussed in week 13 Revision Lecture. Try to complete each exam paper in 45 minutes.

Additional practice quizzes for self-learning

NOTE: Questions to work with R will not be asked in the final examination.

Answers to Book (3rd Edition) Quiz1 and Quiz2

Unit of Study Survey

The student surveys allow feedback across the course, which allows lecturers to know what was helpful for learning and how to improve course for the following year. Please complete survey here.

Responses to MATH1015 Survey in Week 4

  • Week 4 survey - Responses
  • Exam Consultations

    A/Prof. S. Peiris:

    Thursday June 11, 10-12pm (Carslaw 819)
    Tuesday June 16, 10-12pm (Carslaw 819)

    Dr D. Warren:

    Wednesday June 10, 12-2pm (Carslaw 535a)
    Thursday June 18, 12-2pm (Carslaw 707A)
    Check your marks

    Please check that your mark for Week 2 Quiz, Week 3 Quiz, Week 4 Quiz, Week 6 Quiz, Week 7 Quiz, Assignment, Week 8 Quiz, Week 9 Quiz, Week 10 Quiz, Week 11 Quiz, Week 12 Quiz and Week 13 Quiz 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 Week 2 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 3 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 4 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 6 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 7 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Assignment marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 8 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 9 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 10 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 11 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 12 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.
    Please note that any corrections to Week 13 Quiz marks must be made by Friday, Jun 19.

    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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