What is Probability?

The measure of our belief that an event will happen.

So, how do we measure this belief?

  1. We watch and count.
    Watch how often Gary rides down a certain hill and keep track of when he falls and when he doesn’t. Suppose he rode down the hill 100 times and fell 3 times. Then we could say that he fell 3 out of 100 times and the chance that he falls is `3/100` or 3%.
  2. We can claim to have complete knowledge of a situation.
    We all seem to believe that a quarter is fair when flipped, meaning that it is just a likely to land with heads facing up as tails. Since there is one head and two possible outcomes, then we could say that the chance of getting a head is `1/2` or 50%.
  3. It could also be a wild ass guess.
    There is a 50% chance that I will pass the test tomorrow.
  4. Or maybe it is an educated guess

Random thoughts

probability, chance, likelyhood
Dice, cards, coins, weather, sports
event, simple event, sample space
mutually exlusive
certainty, 1
uncertainty, 0
tree diagrams


Math for Poets at BMCC

BMCC has a new math sequence for the AAOT and other degrees.

MTH098 Algebra for Poets

MTH105 College Math for Poets

Recently the state of Oregon changed the college math prerequisite for the AAOT, see document JBAC AAOT-math memo and information.pdf. So instead of MTH095, Intermediate Algebra, being the basic prerequisite for college level math course, there is a set of outcomes a prerequisite course must meet. MTH098 is one such course now.

The state also changed the minimum math requirement for the AAOT to be MTH105 or above, see document newStateMathRequirementsMemo.pdf.

Additionally, in Oregon the minimum prerequisite for MTH243, Introduction to Probability and Statistics, has been MTH095. Some of the schools in Oregon have a MTH095 prerequisite and others have a MTH111 prerequisite for MTH243. Based on the changes from JABAC listed above, MTH098 could be a prerequisite. It is my opinion that MTH098 is insufficient math experience to survive MTH243. However, MTH098 and MTH105, would be a sufficient math experience for MTH243. This opinion is shared by many statistics teachers in the state. Regardless of the schools prerequisite for MTH243, it will transfer.