ba_section1.1.3 - section 1.1.3 Probability 101 Begs the...

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© 2015 by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company 7 It’s not real, but it’s all relative anyway... section 1.1.3: Probability 101 Begs the question, which came first: Probability or Statistics? o Well, probability came out of one of the oldest forms of entertainment: Gambling. The earliest known works on the subject were by Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano (1501 1576), v although his treatise on the subject did not gain the notice it probably deserved (most likely because although he wrote the book circa 1564, it was not actually published until a century later in 1663). o Meanwhile, it is held that it was the self-made gambling misfortunes of one Chevalier de Méré vi that led Blaise Pascal vii (1623 1662) to investigate the rules associated with probability theory. Later, Pasc al’s colleague, Pierre de Fermat (1601 1665) joined the effort and the rules we discuss herein are the result of their collective works. o So, probability preceded statistics, the latter arising because folks wanted to gather data together to see if they could figure out the (empirical) probability (below) of some event occurring or outcome resulting; having all this stuff (data) lying around was just too tempting to not do something with it (we are, of course, taking some poetic liberties here, but I am not far from the truth; click here ). Taking a broader view than Messrs. Pascal and de Fermat, probability falls into a general study known as “ R esearch.” " If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? " Albert Einstein o Simply put, Research is just an investigation into reality (else, we call that philosophy. . . or religion. . . or both). o Research seeks to answer one or more of the following journalistically inspired questions, “Who, What, Where, How, When, Why.” o An extension of this is what we call the Research Question . This is what gets research going, if it is to get going at all. I have often wondered whether the mass of our solar system follows a normal distribution. . .or whether our Milky Way galaxy does the same. As such, I could ask, “What is the mass density distribution of our galaxy?” That’s a research question. Or, I could be more specific and
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© 2015 by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company 8 zzzzzz ask, “Does our galaxy’s mass distribution follow that of a normal (bell - shaped curve) distribution?” o You know, teaching online is not as easy as administrators would like us to otherwise believe. Yes, I know, taking an online class is no ride in the park either, but what is the right number of students for an online class, versus a F2F class? A research question Is optimal class size the same as for bricks and mortar classes? Is it more? Is it less? And how do we even measure the effectiveness of one versus another?
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  • Fall '08
  • SEAL
  • Statistics, Probability, Probability theory, Kendall Hunt Publishing, Hunt Publishing Company, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company

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