Statistical methods for management decisions with Sharad Borle

February 12, 2013

One of the courses I dreaded mostly when I studied for my masters back in Holland was statistics. I missed some of the basics for this course and while I knew how to torture Excel enough to get out the T-statistics or Z-statistics, I always had trouble understanding what to do with this number and how to interpret it. So when I heard we would have a course of statistics (don’t be fooled by the original name of the course, the “management decisions” part has just been added by Sasin to make it sound better related to an MBA) in this hexamester I was both scared and excited; if the teacher would be bad it would be a useless repeat of what others had tried to teach me a few years earlier already, and if the teacher would be good I could finally really understand what statistics is all about.

Just found out I have forgotten to take a picture of the professor Sharad Borle teaching in class, so let me just post how the grade for this course is decided on.

Just found out I have forgotten to take a picture of the professor Sharad Borle teaching in class, so let me just post how the grade for this course is decided on.

A first introduction into many of the things taught in this course was already given during the course management analysis with Brett Saraniti, but now we would take a closer look at how to actually do everything ourselves. A welcome change was also that we were allowed to have our laptops open during class, or better said; we were supposed to have our laptops open during class. Instead of going over theory only we had to download the data files from Blackboard and perform the steps along with the professor on our own computers to make sure we did not fall asleep, and were able to actually perform things during the exam and future classes of this MBA.

Due to the workload of the other course we had this same hexamester some people had trouble staying awake; especially during the last class where we were given the final overview of everything that had been covered.

Due to the workload of the other course we had this same hexamester some people had trouble staying awake; especially during the last class where we were given the final overview of everything that had been covered.

Classes normally ran from Tuesday till Friday, and from the second week on the Friday class was a recap of what was covered earlier that week. On a weekly basis we also got a homework assignment based on what we had learned that week; this course structure reminded me of the course accounting for decision making with professor Mark Finn who gave an online quiz every week to recap whatever we had learned. For me this structure worked perfectly; most of the time I could follow what happened in class well enough from Tuesday till Thursday so I could stay away on Fridays to make the homework assignment in one of the study rooms at Sasin. And when doing the assignment I found myself understanding the concept even better, especially since I made the assignments with one other person meaning we had to explain to each other what we had done in case we came to a different answer.

Pretty decent scores on the first two assignments.

Pretty decent scores on the first two assignments.

For Professor Sharad Borle it was his first year teaching here at Sasin but he did not seem to have trouble keeping people alert in his class, besides maybe a few people who were really tired. As in many courses also participation in class was graded which was a bit strange for a course of statistics since the material does not lent itself that well for having discussions; the intercept of a regression is 7.09582641 and there is not much you can differ in opinion about that. Most of the participation therefore came from only a couple of people; luckily nobody felt triggered to just ask questions about nothing to get their participation up like what happened in some other classes before.

Both the reader and the book have never been opened; the book I never opened because the lecture notes were pretty well written and the reader I never opened because we got all the lecture notes also in soft copy.

Both the reader and the book have never been opened; the book I never opened because the lecture notes were pretty well written and the reader I never opened because we got all the lecture notes also in soft copy.

The course itself was pretty straightforward and there were no strange curveballs thrown with the homework assignments or during the exam unlike during the Finance course where the material taught was straightforward but the midterm and final exam were everything but straightforward. The exam was a bit more difficult than the weekly assignment though; this was probably necessary to make sure there would be a real difference between the people receiving an A and people getting a B (referring to the grades of the course negotiations which resulted in some discussions in class if this way of grading was fair).

And again no time to relax till we get our grades since the next course will already start coming Tuesday. 

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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