18.05 | Spring 2022 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Instructor Insights

Instructor Interview

Below, Dr. Jeremy Orloff and Dr. Jennifer French Kamrin describe various aspects of how they taught 18.05 Introduction to Probability and Statistics in spring 2023.

Why Teach Probability and Statistics Together?

A Shift to Active Learning

Learning and Teaching with R

Using the Applets

Including Materials for Teachers

Curriculum Information


18.02 Multivariable Calculus

Requirements Satisfied

18.05 can be applied toward a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science, but is not required.

18.05 can be applied toward a Minor in Economics, but is not required.

18.05 satisfies the Restricted Elective in Science and Technology (MIT General Institute Requirement).


Every spring semester


  • Reading questions: 5% 
  • In-class clicker questions: 5%
  • Eleven problem sets, lowest grade dropped: 25% 
  • Midterm exams (12.5% each) and R quiz (5%): 30%
  • Final exam: 30%

Student Information


37 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly third- and fourth-year undergraduates

Breakdown by Major

About 50% of the students were Electrical Engineering and Computer Science majors, most of whom were in either Computer Science and Molecular Biology or Computation and Cognition; another 15% were Biology majors; the remainder represented a range of other fields.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

Lectures (2 hours 40 minutes)

Met twice per week for 80 minutes per session; mandatory attendance.

Studios (50 minutes)

Met once per week for 50 minutes per session, working on longer problems that involved the use of R, a computer programming language developed especially for statistical computing.

Out of Class (8 hours 30 minutes)

Outside of class, students completed problem sets and studied for exams.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2022
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
Activity Assignments with Examples
Exam Materials
Instructor Insights