Topics to Know for Prelim I
1) General Probability:
A) Intersection, Union, General Addition Formula
Probability of the union is the sum of the probabilities minus the
intersection.
B) Complement, Mutually Exclusive events, General Addition Formula for
Mutually Exclusive events
Complement of an event E is the event containing all possible outcomes
not in E.
Mutually Exclusive events are events that cannot occur at the same time.
Formula for ME: sum of probabilities minus 0 because intersection cannot
happen.
C) Conditional Probability, Independence, Checking for Independence,
Multiplication rule for independent events (Only!)
Conditional probability is the change in outcome if we know prior
information.
Checking for independence: P(AB) = P(A and B) / P(B) = P(A)
D) Hint: A Venn diagram is often helpful to delineate multiple situations with
complicated combinations of all of the above. Know what each area of the
diagram represents, be able to dissect the probability of each area.
2) Random variables
A) Definition: A function which assigns a unique real number to each
outcome of an experiment.
. intuitively, it is a numerical quantity that
varies with chance.
B) Discrete and continuous random variables
Discrete rv can take on only a finite number of values over any finite
interval… like number of students, shoe sizes, etc.
Continuous rv can take on infinite number of values over some finite
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 Spring '07
 Lloyd
 Normal Distribution, Variance, Probability theory, probability density function

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