Statistical Process Improvement
Georgetown University

Introduction to the Course


Assigned Reading

  1. Introduction (use instructor's last name as password) Read►
  2. Course syllabus Read► Tour►
  3. Process improvement  Leading Change►  Improvement Cycles►  92 Examples► Psychology of change►
  4. History of patient safety efforts at AHRQ  More►



Question 1: Select  your teach one assignments.  We subscribe to the principle of "Learn one, do one, teach one."  The best way to learn is to teach the topic.  At start of the course, you select a topic in the course to teach.  A week prior to the due date, you submit all assignments in the topic to the instructor. On due date, you email to all students in the class a You Tube video showing how to solve assigned homework.  Missing any of the deadlines on this assignment will lead to 10% reduction in your grade for each week of delay.  If you and others have the same topic, you can focus on different parts of the lecture or assignments. Use Blackboard discussion to indicate the topic you want to focus on. If a student has already taken the topic, it is your responsibility to negotiate how your focus will differ.

Question 2: Plot the following data, where the X axis is the time periods, the Y-axis shows the observed value, the upper control limit and the lower control limits.  Distinguish between the first seven data periods as these were collected pre-intervention.  Remaining data points were collected post intervention.  Title the chart. Create a legend that defines the name for various lines.  Make sure that the observation line has markers and the control limits have no markers.  Make portion of Upper and Lower limit lines that are post intervention dashed.  Make portion of the line that is pre-intervention straight line.  Make all Upper and Lower limit lines red.  Data► Slides►  Listen►

Question 3: This problem will test your familiarity with Excel. Consider the following population data, P: {0, 4, 10, 15, 47, 100}. Assume that you are sampling WITHOUT replacement i.e. once a population element is selected in a sample, that element cannot be selected again for that sample.

  •  List all possible samples of size 2 which can be drawn from set P. For example (0, 4) is a sample of size 2. Another such sample is (15, 47). Verify that you have listed all 15 possible samples.
  • Calculate the arithmetic mean for each individual sample that you listed earlier. Since there are 15 samples you should end up with 15 means. List all means.
  •  Calculate the arithmetic mean of the 15 means that you calculated earlier. This is the average value of all sample means. Compare this value to average of the initial 6 numbers, the population mean. Are they close? Same?

Question 4: In the following Table, fill in all cell values so that all indicated relationships hold. X and Y are random variables.  X with a bar above it indicates the average of X values in the column X. This problem will test your understanding of several principles related to elementary statistics and algebraic operations. Submitted your completed work as an Excel file.

Question 5: The following data are arranged in order of increasing magnitude. Figure out the two missing values (represented by question marks) such that the mean for this data equals the median (for this problem, assume that missing values are positive integers).  Data: ?, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8,?


  • Many books cover the same topics as the current course.  One of our favorites is the free book "OpenIntro Statistics" Read►


Copyright 1996 Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D. Most recent revision 10/09/2018.  This page is part of the course on Statistical Process Improvement, this is the lecture on Introduction to the Course.