Probability

  • A song that can be used in discussing the convergence of the sample proportion to the true probability as the number of independent trials grows larger. The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the 1967 song “Bare Necessities,” written by Terry Gilkyson for the animated Disney film The Jungle Book. Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBWKGEpQ2tk

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  • A song that may be used in discussing the concept of independence as P(A) = P(A|B). The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the folk Ballad Oh My Darlin’, Clementine assumed to have been written by Percy Montrose in 1884. Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Li7VBGOc5Q

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  • A song that may be used in discussing the central limit theorem for the sampling distribution of means.  The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the classic Christmas song "Jingle Bell Rock" written by Joseph Beal and James Boothe in 1942.  Also, an accompanying video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjy0AbJ5rJw

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  • A short story that might be used in an out of class assignment to explore life tables and the expected value of an annuity. The story was written by Steve Mathys from One America Companies. The story won second place in the Society of Actuaries 7th annual Speculative Fiction Contest in 2007.
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  • A short story that might be used in an out-of-class assignment to understand lifetime distributions. The story was written by Ben Marshall of FaithLife Financial in Waterloo Ontario, Canada. The story took first place in the 2007 Society of Actuaries 7th annual Speculative Fiction Contest.
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  • A short story that can be used in an out-of-class assignment in association with the study of probability rules, Bayes Theorem and expectations as they relate to games of chance. The story was written by Canadian Mathematician Robert Dawson from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (volume 7, issue 1, January 2017).
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  • 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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