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Probability For Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: The Certainty of Uncertainty: Probability Basics 7

Chapter 1: The Probability in Everyday Life 9

Chapter 2: Coming to Terms with Probability 19

Chapter 3: Picturing Probability: Venn Diagrams, Tree Diagrams, and Bayes’ Theorem 39

Part II: Counting on Probability and Betting to Win 65

Chapter 4: Setting the Contingency Table with Probabilities 67

Chapter 5: Applying Counting Rules with Combinations and Permutations 77

Chapter 6: Against All Odds: Probability in Gaming 103

Part III: From A to Binomial: Basic Probability Models 129

Chapter 7: Probability Distribution Basics 131

Chapter 8: Juggling Success and Failure with the Binomial Distribution 151

Chapter 9: The Normal (but Never Dull) Distribution 167

Chapter 10: Approximating a Binomial with a Normal Distribution 187

Chapter 11: Sampling Distributions and the Central Limit Theorem 201

Chapter 12: Investigating and Making Decisions with Probability 221

Part IV: Taking It Up a Notch: Advanced Probability Models 233

Chapter 13: Working with the Poisson (a Nonpoisonous) Distribution 235

Chapter 14: Covering All the Angles of the Geometric Distribution 251

Chapter 15: Making a Positive out of the Negative Binomial Distribution 261

Chapter 16: Remaining Calm about the Hypergeometric Distribution 273

Part V: For the Hotshots: Continuous Probability Models 283

Chapter 17: Staying in Line with the Continuous Uniform Distribution 285

Chapter 18: The Exponential (and Its Relationship to Poisson) Exposed 299

Part VI: The Part of Tens 311

Chapter 19: Ten Steps to a Better Probability Grade 313

Chapter 20: Top Ten (Plus One) Probability Mistakes 323

Appendix: Tables for Your Reference 333

Index 343

About the Author

Deborah Rumsey has a PhD in Statistics from The Ohio State University (1993). Upon graduating, she joined the faculty in the Department of Statistics at Kansas State University, where she won the distinguished Presidential Teaching Award and earned tenure and promotion in 1998. In 2000, she returned to Ohio State and is now a Statistics Education Specialist/Auxiliary Faculty Member for the Department of Statistics. Dr. Rumsey has served on the American Statistical Association’s Statistics Education Executive Committee and is the Editor of the Teaching Bits section of the Journal of Statistics Education. She’s the author of the books Statistics For Dummies and Statistics Workbook For Dummies (Wiley). She also has published many papers and given many professional presentations on the subject of Statistics Education. Her particular research interests are curriculum materials development, teacher training and support, and immersive learning environments. Her passions, besides teaching, include her family, fishing, bird watching, driving a new Kubota tractor on the family “farm,” and Ohio State Buckeye football (not necessarily in that order).

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