Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Mathematical Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Kais Hamza


This unit introduces the methods of stochastic processes and statistics used in the analysis of biological data, physics, economics and engineering. At the completion of the unit students will understand the application of classical techniques, such as Poisson processes, Markov chains, hidden Markov chains, random walks, martingale theory, birth and death processes, and branching processes in the analysis of DNA sequences, population genetics, dynamics of populations, telecommunications and economic analysis.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the idea of random variables varying with time;

  1. Analyse Markov chains at the elementary level, in discrete and continuous time;

  1. Understand key processes in probability, including the Poisson process, birth process, birth and death process, branching processes, random walks, martingales;

  1. Apply the probability processes to practical situations, including queues, epidemics, servicing machines, networks, financial markets and insurance risk.


Final exam: 70%
Assignments: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour support class per week


One of MTH1030, MTH1035 or ETC2440 and one of MTH2010, MTH2015, MTH2032, MTH2222 or ETC2520. Either MTH2222 or ETC2520 is highly recommended.