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Mathematics for statisticians


Admission requirements

The entry level for this course (and thus the master program) is equivalent to Dutch high school VWO Mathematics A. See the master's website (www.math.leidenuniv.nl/statisticalscience) for more detailed information about this material.


Mathematics and computation are the lingua franca of statistics. In this course students will refresh and extend their mathematics skills needed to deal with the formal part of statistics. Topics from pre-Calculus, Calculus, linear algebra and geometry are discussed and trained.

Course objectives

Leveling up the necessary mathematical knowledge for successfully completing the Master’s specialisation in Statistical Science for the Life & Behavioural sciences.

Time Table

For the course days, course location and class hours check the Time Table under the tab “StatSci Students -> Program Schedule” at http://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/statisticalscience

Mode of Instruction

Lectures and exercise classes are dedicated to assist in problem solving and questions on the material. Students need to prepare for these contact hours via self-study using a book and video-tutorials. Video-tutorials can be found on the Blackboard page.

The student is advised to already try to solve the relevant exercises so as to understand his/her problems with the theory.

Assessment method

Homework assignments (1/3) and a written exam (2/3, minimum = 6,0). In case a student does not pass the course, he/she can take the written resit exam. The grade of the written resit exam will then replace both the grade for the homework assignment and the grade of the written exam.

Date information about the exam and resit can be found in the Time Table pdf document under the tab “Masters Programme” at http://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/statscience. The room and building for the exam will be announced on the electronic billboard, to be found at the opposite of the entrance, the content can also be viewed here http://info.liacs.nl/math/.

Details on the exam: during the exam it is only allowed to consult specific formulae sheets distributed by the teacher.

Reading list

Calculus a complete course, Robert A. Adams &Christopher Essex, 2013 Pearson Education Canada ISBN-13 978-0-321-78107-9.

Course Registration

Enroll in Blackboard for the course materials and course updates.

To be able to obtain a grade and the ECTS for the course, sign up for the (re-)exam in uSis ten calendar days before the actual (re-)exam will take place. Note, the student is expected to participate actively in all activities of the program and therefore uses and registers for the first exam opportunity.

Contact information

s [dot] j [dot] w [dot] willems [at] math [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl


This is a compulsory course in the Master program Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences.