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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal
Introduction to Statistics

Course Difficulty: Easy Course, no prior knowledge required.

Course Category: Basic Nuclear Science

Screenshot from this course.
Screenshot from this course.

Administrative Details

Module Description: In this module we will cover some of the basic concepts in statistics applied to measurements and derived quantities.

Prerequisites: Students taking this module should have a working knowledge of basic algebra and calculus. They should have completed the Nuclear and Atomic Physics, Basic Radiation Detection, and Safeguards Terminology modules.

Learning Objectives: Students completing this module should be able to: Characterize a measured dataset using a mean and a standard deviation; Explain how probability distributions relate to measured datasets and how they can be used to estimate the likelihood that a measurement will fall within a certain interval of a mean value; Describe the difference between systematic and random uncertainties and how this relates to accuracy and precision; and Use propagation of variance to estimate the uncertainties to derived quantities.

Outline: This module consists of the following sections:

  1. Objectives
  2. Mean and Variance of a Dataset
  3. Probability Distributions
  4. Random and Systematic Uncertainties
  5. Precision and Accuracy of a Measurement Instrument
  6. Measurement Error Models
  7. Propagation of Variance
  8. References

Each section contains reading material, videos, and reference materials. The reading material includes a brief discussion of the subject matter, and the videos explore the subject in further detail. The student should complete the reading material and then watch the videos if they wish to have additional information and a more in-depth explanation of the subject matter

See general course instructions.

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