Syllabus for STAT 624: Statistical Computation

Dr. Robert Richardson
Brigham Young University
Fall 2020

Class Webpage:


Robert Richardson
Office Phone: 801-422-3736
Office Hours: WVB
Personal Phone: 831-295-1760
Tuesday 10:00-11:00 am & Thursday, 2:00-3:00pm
or, by appointment.

Teaching Assistant

Hong Ni Mui
Office hours: TBD
or, by appointment.


  See webpage

Course Description

Fundamental numerical methods used by statisticians; programming concepts; efficient use of software available for statisticians; simulation studies. Prerequisites: Departmental consent.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to:


Introduction to Scientific Programming and Simulation Using R, Second Edition, by Jones, Maillardet, & Robinson; ISBN-13: 978-1466569997

The Linux Command Line, by William E. Shotts, Jr.; Version 16.07.

The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2ε, by Oetiker, Partl, Hyna, & Schlegl; Version 5.05.

C Programming, Wikibooks.

The GNU C Programming Tutorial, by Mark Burgess & Ron Hale-Evans; Edition 4.1.

Git for Submitting Graded Work

Will be discussed in class.


Statistical computing is best learned by doing. As such, homework is designed to challenge students and to stretch their understanding of readings and lecture. To help accomplish the learning outcomes, all homework must be done using the graduate student server RStudio should not be used and vi should be used for text editing. Homework will typically be due at the start of lecture on the assigned day. Instructions on submitting homework will be given later. Late homework is only accepted at the discretion of Dr. Richardson and is subject to a penalty.

As much as possible, homeworks will be due Wednesday nights at midnight.


One project will be assigned for 624. It will test basic understanding of key concepts involved in the class. An exact project description will be available by the end of September.


There will be 2 midterm exams and a final exam. Exams are designed to assess a student's mastery of concepts, skills, and connections between lecture, readings, and homework. Details on the dates and times will be given later.


Homework  30%
Midterm 120%
Midterm 220%
Class attendance, participation, citizenship, and improvement over the course may be used in determining final grades in extreme situations.

Honor Code

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university's expectation, and every instructor's expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 1-801-422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Sexual Misconduct

As required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the university prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment --- including sexual violence --- committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university. University policy requires any university employee in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report incidents of sexual misconduct that come to their attention through various forms including face-to-face conversation, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. If you encounter sexual misconduct, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at or 1-801-422-2130 or Ethics Point at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours). Additional information about Title IX and resources available to you can be found at

Student Disability

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC), 2170 WSC or 1-801-422-2767. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. The UAC can also assess students for learning, attention, and emotional concerns. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 1-801-422-5895, D-285 ASB.