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Probability

  • "A Given A" is a song that Lawrence Mark Lesser from The University of Texas of El Paso adapted from his poem "P(A|A)" that was originally published in the January 2017 Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. In addition to providing a vehicle for general discussion (about pitfalls of post hoc analysis, multiple comparisons, or confusing the direction of causation or conditioning), the song may spark particularly lively discussion with the second verse's reference to the Bible Code, popularized by Michael Drosnin's so-named books and discussed in 1994 and 1999 papers in Statistical Science.
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  • "Availability Heuristic" is a poem by Lawrence Mark Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso. The poem was originally published in the January 2017 Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. Classroom discussion the poem may spark includes comparing and contrasting mathematical and statistical roles and language for generality, looking up and discussing the meaning of the title (a phenomenon identified by Kahneman and Tversky in 1973), exploring the"someone, somewhere" idea of Utts' Seeing Through Statistics, or discussing how many people have poor intuition with the birthday problem ("probability of at least one match in the room") because they confuse it with the birthdate ("probability at least one match with ME") problem (see letters in the summer 2014 Teaching Statistics).
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  • This is an e-book tutorial for R. It is organized according to the topics usually taught in an Introductory Statistics course. Topics include: Qualitative Data; Quantitative Data; Numerical Measures; Probability Distributions; Interval Estimation; Hypothesis Testing; Type II Error; Inference about Two Populations; Goodness of Fit; Analysis of Variance; Non-parametric methods; Linear Regression; and Logistic Regression.
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  • A quote to motivate discussion of how knowledge builds from a base. The quote is by Austrian-American Mathematician Hilda Geiringer (1893-1973) who used it in connection to her philosophy of probability and how it should build from a firm mathematical base but be connected to real world problems. The quote is contained in her 1964 preface to Mathematical Theory of Probability and Statistics by Richard von Mises (von Mises was her husband and she wrote and compiled the book from his notes after his death).
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  • A quote from popular fiction that might be used in a discussion of conditional probability. The meaning of the phrase “ninety-eight percent more likely” is also good fodder for class discussion as students might confuse its interpretation between a 1% chance becoming 99% or becoming 1.98%. The quote is by American author Jennifer E. Smith (1980 - ) from her book "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight."
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  • A 2015 video by Amelia Baechtel, an AP Statistics student from Magrudger High School, that can be used in discussing the use of the normal distribution. The video received an honorable mention in the 2015 A-mu-sing contest.
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  • A joke by Larry Lesser of University of Texas at El Paso that can be used in discussing the uniform probability distribution.
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  • A poem consisting of two quasi Haikus that can used in discussing the Cramer-Rao lower bound on the variance of a normally distributed statistic. The poem was written by Ming-Lun Ho of Chabot College and was given a third place award in the 2015 A-mu-sing contest.
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  • A rap about the basic rules of probability. The music and lyrics were written by Lawrence Mark Lesser of University of Texas at El Paso and won an honorable mention in the 2015 A-mu-sing contest. This song is part of an NSF-funded library of interactive songs that involved students creating responses to prompts that are then included in the lyrics (see www.causeweb.org/smiles for the interactive version of the song, a short reading covering the topic, and an assessment item).

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  • "May the odds be ever in your favor!" is a quote from The Hunger Games novels/movie trilogy by Suzanne Collins (1962 - ). It can be used in discussing the Law of Large Numbers and the position of the casino in betting games.
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