No matter what your major is, as you progress through college and beyond you will have to make sense of information presented to you as numbers. This information is called “data”. This course is designed to give you the knowledge and skills you will need to analyze data and more importantly, draw conclusions from your analysis. This course is not about using advanced mathematics to solve problems. It is about showing you how to use computer technology, especially visualization (graphs, histograms, pie charts), to look at and understand data in a more intuitive, visual manner.

In this course we use MATLAB, a sophisticated programming and data analysis environment, to teach the basic computing skills you will need to work with data in your later science, mathematics, and statistics courses. The beauty of MATLAB is that most of the tedious work has already been done for you. You will not have to learn pages and pages of computer commands to perform useful tasks (like generating 3-dimensional graphics). You will be surprised how easy this programming will be compared to learning other, less powerful computer languages.

**Specific course objectives:**

- Students should be able to display data using appropriate visualization techniques (e.g., histograms, pie charts, scatter graphs, contour plots).
- Students should be able to draw conclusions and formulate hypotheses from data presented graphically.
- Students should be able to understand and use basic statistical indicators (e.g., mean, standard deviation, median, maximum, minimum and tests of significance).
- Students should be able to apply built-in functions (e.g., sum, difference, log, exponential) appropriately and in context.
- Students should be able to use variables, conditionals, loops, functions, and logical indexing in scripts to analyze data.
- Students should be able to manipulate basic data structures including lists, tables, cell arrays, and structures.
- Students should be able to write scripts that handle different types of data.
- Students should use models to generate data to study scientific questions.
- Students should be able to communicate their results in a clear and correct manner.