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Probability

  • A story that might be used as an out-of-class assignment associated with the study of population growth models (here the population is at equilibrium because both births and deaths are essentially non-existent). The story was written by Chris Fievoli from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and won first place in the 8th Speculative Fiction Contest in 2009
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  • A short story that can be used as an out-of-class assignment associated with studying the probability of rare events and issues like those that arise in the birthday problem about how the chance that an event will happen to someone differs from the chance it will happen to you. The story was written in 1973 by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky and appeared in the short story compilation 'journey Across Three Worlds" (Mir Publishers, Moscow). The version here was translated from Russian to English by Gladys Evans.
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  • A poem to develop an understanding of permutations. A question like "Why is the word importunate used in a poem about a permutation?" will help the conversation. The poem was written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2017.
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  • A quote to stimulate a discussion about Bayesian estimation and the relationship between the degree of ignorance about a parameter and its probability distribution. The quote is by English novelist Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880) who wrote under the pen name George Eliot. The quote is from her 1876 novel Daniel Deronda.
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  • A quote to help in discussing the ideas of sampling without replacement (and more specifically in 5-card poker games). The quote is by Canadian author Isabel Huggan (1943 - ) from her 1984 book The Elizabeth Stories.
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  • A quote that might be used in discussing the Law of Large Numbers. The quote is by English author and satirist Delarivier Manley (1663 – 1724) from her 1709 book "Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality of Both Sexes."
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  • A quote that might be used in discussing how statistical models attempt to incorporate the main relevant explanatory factors and assume that small components are part of random error term. The quote is by American novelist Anne Tyler (1941 - ) and appeared in the New York Times in 2004
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  • A quote that could be used in discussing the idea that results of an individual experiment are random and highly variable compared with the stability of the "long run". The quote is by Native American author Mourning Dove (1884 – 1936), also known as Christal Quintasket, in her 1927 novel "Cogewea, the Half-Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range"
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  • A quote that could be used in discussing the difference between probability (chance), which talks about the experiment about to happen, and luck, which talks about the results that have already happened. The quote is by American writer Amy Tan (1952 - ) from her 1991 novel "The Kitchen God's Wife."
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  • A quote that might be used in examining the actual chance for winning lottery. The quote is by American author and social commentator Fran Lebowitz (1950 - ) and appeared in the 1994 book "Glibquips: Funny Words by Funny Women" edited by Roz Warren.
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