06Discrete Random Variables

06Discrete Random Variables - DISCRETE RANDOM VARIABLES...

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D ISCRETE R ANDOM V ARIABLES Recall that the probability of an event is the relative likelihood of that event occurring. A random variable ( x ) has a single numerical value for each outcome of a probability experiment. Thus, x can assume any of the numbers associated with the possible outcomes of the experiment (sample space) and the particular value that x assumes in any single trial of an experiment is a chance or random outcome. A discrete random variable is one in which all possible values can be counted or listed (unlike a continuous random variable which has an infinite number of values – like a number line). An example of a discrete random variable is the number of people in a classroom or the number of cars in a parking lot. An example of a continuous random variable is the height of a student or the time it takes to run 100m. A probability distribution for a discrete random variable gives the probability for each of the values of the random variable. For example, let’s look at the probability distribution for the sum of two dice.

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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2011 for the course MATH 241 taught by Professor Kim during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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06Discrete Random Variables - DISCRETE RANDOM VARIABLES...

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