Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Mathematical Sciences


Dr Dianne Atkinson and Dr Daniel McInnes (Clayton); Dr. Chen Won Sun (Malaysia)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)
  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Day)
  • October intake 2016 (Day)


Scientific method. The role of mathematical models in science. Principles of experimental and sampling design, data acquisition, analysis and presentation of data. Hypothesis testing and confidence intervals. Relationship between quantitative variables. Communication of scientific information.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the key steps of the scientific method and apply these to real problems that involve data analysis and interpretation;

  1. Understand the importance of statistical techniques in the analysis of data;

  1. Describe how statistical data is collected and analysed;

  1. Use Excel to present and interpret data in numerical summaries and/or graphs;

  1. Use appropriate statistical summaries to explore data;

  1. Perform regression and interpret results;

  1. Determine confidence intervals;

  1. Conduct hypothesis testing and interpret results;

  1. Communicate findings through a scientific report.


Final examination (3 hours): 65%
Assignments and tests: 35%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures per week and one 2-hour workshop per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Sem 1 and 2: Dr Dianne Atkinson
October intake: Dr Daniel McInnes


STA1010, ETC1000, ETW1000, ETW1102, ETX1100, FIT1006, MTH1030. Note that SCI1020 is an introductory unit and students who have already completed one of these prohibited units cannot subsequently enrol in SCI1020. Students who have completed MTH1030 should enrol in STA1010 instead.