RECOMMENDED TEXTS AND MATERIALS
STAT278 has no text. Lecture notes will be handed out at the beginning of each module, and are available on the unit website.
A little further reading will be necessary: in particular, you will need to do a little research on the internet, and you will also at times need to refer to the on-line help provided with Excel, Matlab and Access.
If you wish to do extra reading on simulation and modelling, the library has many relevant books. There are dozens of books with call numbers beginning QA76.9.C65 describing simulation and modelling from a mathematical or computer-scientific viewpoint—many of these are quite introductory and easy to read. Books with call numbers beginning T57.62 describe the same topic, but from a more managerial or business viewpoint. Gilbert & Doran’s Simulating Societies addresses the topic from the sociologists’ perspective, but is probably a bit erudite; this book will mainly be of interest in the applications it describes. Also possibly of interest are Emshoff & Sisson’s Design and Use of Computer Simulation Models, Naylor & al.’s Computer Simulation Techniques, Gordon’s System Simulation and Robinson's Simulation. Many of these books are surprisingly old—just ignore all the talk of FORTRAN and so forth; the basic concepts of computer simulation haven’t really changed.
Three software applications are used in STAT278: Excel, Access and Matlab. You will have access to all three of these applications in the computer labs in E4B. Additionally, the first two (Excel and Access) are Microsoft Office products, and therefore available on most computers throughout the University; moreover, although they are not freeware, you very possibly have these applications installed on your computer already.
Matlab is also available for download for free, please refer to the STAT278 iLearn site for instruction. Matlab may also be available in some other labs (for instance the Faculty of Science labs). The unit material assumes you will use Matlab, but if you prefer to complete some or all of these assessments in Scilab, that can be accommodated.
Because STAT278 is a practically-oriented unit, you will sit a practical exam in the computer lab at the end of the semester, rather than a traditional paper-based exam. Your total assessment will be on the basis of your performance of a variety of practical exercises and projects. Your final raw mark (see Grading, below) for STAT278 will be a weighted average of marks for tutorial participation, iLearn contribution, your Group Project, two individual assignments, and the practical test and exam in the computer labs. Requests for extensions to the due dates of any assessment in STAT278 should be made to either of the lecturers, in person or via email.
Your final Standardised Numerical Grade (SNG) and grade in Stat278 will be based on your work during semester and in the final examination as specified in the Assessment section above. Note, from its definition in the Undergraduate Handbook, SNG “is called a grade as it does not represent the raw marks, it reflects where within the grading structure the student sits.” The grades allocated (HD, D, Cr, et cetera) are as set out in the Grading Policy (see the Policies and Procedures page).
Enrolment in STAT278 should automatically make the STAT278 iLearn site available to you from the start of semester. To access it, log in at https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/ and select STAT278 from your list of iLearn units. Not every unit at Macquarie uses iLearn, so don’t be alarmed if this list doesn’t contain all of your units. If STAT278 doesn’t appear, though, and you enrolled in the unit more than 24 hours ago, please contact the Unit Convenor immediately.
The iLearn site is an important part of this unit, giving you access to the online discussion facility, lecture notes, assignments, tutorial exercises and solutions. Unit information appears there too, including this unit outline. During the semester, you should visit the iLearn site at least twice per week.