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Table of contents

  1. Lecture Videos
  2. Course Notes
  3. Tutor-Created Supplemental Resources
  4. Probability
    1. Readings and Sources of Practice Problems
    2. Probability Roadmap
    3. Visualizations
  5. Past Exams
  6. Other Resources

Lecture Videos

In the table below, you can find lecture videos created by Janine Tiefenbruck, who created this course and taught it many times. The lecture videos linked below will generally be pretty similar in content coverage to our lectures, but there are indeed differences in notation and order. You are responsible for everything covered in our lectures, even if something doesn’t appear in the videos below. When in doubt, refer to the main lecture slides posted and ask on Ed.

Video Topics
Video 1 learning from data, mean absolute error
Video 2 minimizing mean absolute error
Video 3 mean squared error
Video 4 empirical risk minimization, general framework, 0-1 loss
Video 5 UCSD loss
Video 6 gradient descent
Video 7 gradient descent demo, convexity
Video 8 spread
Video 9 linear prediction rule
Video 10 least squares solutions
Video 11 regression interpretation
Video 12 nonlinear trends
Video 13 linear algebra for regression
Video 14 gradient, normal equations
Video 15 polynomial regression, nonlinear trends
Video 16 multiple regression
Video 17 k-means clustering
Video 18 k-means clustering, cost function, practical considerations
Video 19 probability, basic rules
Video 20 conditional probability
Video 21 probability, random sampling, sequences
Video 22 combinatorics, sequences, sets, permutations, combinations
Video 23 counting and probability practice
Video 24 law of total probability, Bayes’ Theorem
Video 25 independence, conditional independence
Video 26 naive Bayes
Video 27 text classification, spam filter, naive Bayes

Course Notes

The notes for this class were written by Janine Tiefenbruck and Justin Eldridge. These notes cover the material from the first half of the course, but as of Spring 2024, the order of coverage may be different.

Tutor-Created Supplemental Resources

These resources were created by tutors as part of their Final Project for DSC 95, the first-time tutor training course.


Unlike the first half of the course, where we had course notes written specifically for this class, we don’t have DSC 40A-specific notes for the second half of the class, because there are many high-quality resources available online that cover the same material. Below, you’ll find links to some of these resources.

Readings and Sources of Practice Problems

  • Open Intro Statistics: Sections 2.1, 2.3, and 2.4 cover the probability we are learning in this course at a good level for undergraduates. This is a good substitute for a textbook, similar to the course notes that we had for the first part of the course. It goes through the definitions, terminology, probability rules, and how to use them. It’s succinct and highlights the most important things.

  • Probability for Data Science: Chapters 1 and 2 of this book have a lot of good examples demonstrating some standard problem-solving techniques. This book should be primarily useful for more problems to practice and learn from. This book is written at a good level for students in this class. It is used at UC Berkeley in their Probability for Data Science course. Our course only really covers material from the first two chapters, but if you want to extend your learning of probability as it applies to data science, this is a good book to help you do that.

  • Theory Meets Data: Chapters 1 and 2 of this book cover similar content to Chapters 1 and 2 of the Probability for Data Science book, but with different prose and examples. It is used at UC Berkeley for a more introductory Probability for Data Science course.

  • Grinstead and Snell’s Introduction to Probability: Chapters 1, 3, and 4.1 of this book cover the material from our class. This book is a lot longer and more detailed than the others, and it uses more formal mathematical notation. It should give you a very thorough understanding of probability and combinatorics, but it is a lot more detailed, so the more abbreviated resources above will likely be more useful. With that said, this book is written at a good level for undergraduates and is used in other undergraduate probability classes at UCSD, such as CSE 103.

  • Introduction to Mathematical Thinking: This course covers topics in discrete math, some of which are relevant to us (in particular, set theory and counting). In addition to the lecture videos linked on the homepage, you may want to look at the notes section.

  • Khan Academy: Counting, Permutations, and Combinations: Khan Academy has a good unit called Counting, Permutations, and Combinations that should be pretty helpful for the combinatorics we are learning in this class. A useful aspect of it is the practice questions that combine permutations and combinations. Most students find that the hardest part of these counting problems is knowing when to use permutations and when to use combinations. These practice questions have them mixed together, so you really get practice learning which is the right technique to apply to which situation.

Probability Roadmap

Janine Tiefenbruck wrote a “Probability Roadmap” that aims to guide students through the process of solving probability problems. It comes in three versions:

  • Examples: This document consists of strategies followed by example problems that employ those strategies. If you’re looking to gain additional practice, start here.
  • Solutions: This document contains solutions and explanations for all of the example problems in the first document. After you’ve attempted the problems on your own, read through this full document. Even if you’ve solved all the questions, you’re likely to learn how to do some problems in new ways.
  • Summary: This document is a concise summary and contains only the strategies themselves.


Past Exams

Past exam problems can be found at

Other Resources

If you find another helpful resource, let us know and we can link it here!