Leonard Mlodinow Teaching

Leonard Mlodinow Teaching

Introduction to Probability, Statistics, and Random Processes


  • COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the theory of random processes with an emphasis on understanding its application in experimental science, engineering, and popular culture. The course will first develop the basic notions of probability such as sample spaces, probability densities and distributions, random variables, Bayes’ theorem, expectation, limit theorems, and standard error, and then examine how those are applied to develop theories of statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression. Finally, it will touch on the basic theory of random walks, and Brownian motion. The course has no prerequisites and is open to all graduate students and undergraduates.

    Not offered 2011-2012

Writing about Scientific Research


  • COURSE DESCRIPTION: This will be a hands-on course in which students learn how to write a long essay or a book explaining complex scientific research. The course will focus on learning to write clearly and compellingly, to rewrite and edit, and, especially, to find one’s own writing voice. In the first part of the course, students will read, analyze, and critique published works, including some early drafts of well-known books. Together, we will study different writing styles; how chapters, articles, and books are structured; and basic narrative techniques and their execution. In the second part of the course students will select a cutting-edge scientific research topic to write about and produce a book chapter on that topic. Students’ works-in-progress will be analyzed each week in class. The finished chapters will be included in a manuscript for a book one might call The Caltech Student’s Guide to the Most Awesome Cutting Edge Science, 2012. Limited enrollment.