Matthew L. Wright
Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College

Probability Theory

Math 262 ⋅ Fall 2020

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Friday
August 21
Introduction; what is probability?
Do the following before next class:
Monday
August 24
Sample spaces and events; axioms of probability
Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions to the problems from class.
  • Complete Homework 1 (due Wednesday).
  • Read §1.3 in the textbook, and watch the accompanying video Counting Methods. Answer the three questions embedded in the video before class on Wednesday.
Wednesday
August 26
Counting methods; permutations and combinations
Homework 1
due at 5pm

Bonus video: John Urschel-NFL Math Whiz

Do the following before next class:
Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions to the problems from class.
  • Finish Homework 2 (due Monday).
  • Watch the video Conditional Probability and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Monday. Also read the examples in §1.4 in the textbook.
Monday
August 31
Homework 2
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions to the problems from class.
  • Begin Homework 3 (due Friday).
  • Watch the video Independence and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Wednesday. Also read §1.5 in the textbook.
Wednesday
September 2

Bonus video: Hannah Fry — Beautiful equations: how insects walk on water and galaxies form

Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions to the problems from class.
  • Begin Homework 3 (due Friday).
  • Watch the video Simulation of Random Events and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Friday. Also read §1.6 in the textbook.
  • On Friday, we meet in RNS 410. Wear your face mask, and bring your computer with R or Mathematica.
Friday
September 4
Simulation of random events
Meet in RNS 410 — masks required!
Homework 3
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Please complete the Week 3 Survey. Answers are voluntary and anonymous.
  • Watch the video Discrete Random Variables and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Monday. Also read §2.1 and §2.2 in the textbook.
  • Begin Homework 4 (due Wednesday).
Monday
September 7
Random variables; discrete distributions
Do the following before next class:
  • Please complete the Week 3 Survey, if you haven't done so already. Answers are voluntary and anonymous.
  • Watch the video Expected Value and Standard Deviation and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Wednesday. Also read §2.3 in the textbook.
  • Finish Homework 4 (due Wednesday).
Wednesday
September 9
Homework 4
due at 5pm

Bonus video: Yitang Zhang: An Unlikely Math Star Rises

Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions from the problems in class, especially those involving Chebyshev's Inequality.
  • Watch the video The Binomial Distribution and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Friday. Also read §2.4 in the textbook.
  • Begin Homework 5 (due Monday).
Friday
September 11
Do the following before next class:
  • Review the solutions from the problems in class.
  • Watch the video The Poisson Distribution and answer the questions embedded in the video before coming to class on Monday. Also read §2.5 in the textbook.
  • Finish Homework 5 (due Monday).
  • Take a look at Homework 6 (due Wednesday).
Monday
September 14
Homework 5
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
Wednesday
September 16
Homework 6
due at 5pm

Bonus video: Moon Duchin: "Political Geometry"

Work on Exam 1. Complete it before class on Monday. You may either hand in your exam at class on Monday, or submit your work electronically using this Moodle assignment link.
Friday
September 18
Exam 1: take-home, covering sections 1.1 through 2.4 in the textbook
(no class meeting today)
Do the following before next class:
Monday
September 21
Do the following before next class:
Wednesday
September 23
Negative binomial and geometric distributions
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
  • Finish Homework 7 (due Friday).
Friday
September 25
Moment-generating functions
Homework 7
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Monday
September 28
Moment-generating functions
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Wednesday
September 30
Simulation of discrete random variables
Homework 8
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Friday
October 2
Continuous random variables; uniform distribution
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Monday
October 5
Expected values of continuous distributions
Homework 9
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Wednesday
October 7
Normal distribution
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Friday
October 9
Exponential distribution
Homework 10
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • Video and reading to be announced.
Monday
October 12
Gamma distribution
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Wednesday
October 14
Review day
Homework 11
due at 5pm
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Friday
October 16
Exam 2
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Monday
October 19
Transformations of continuous random variables
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Wednesday
October 21
Joint distributions
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Friday
October 23
Expected values, covariance, and correlation
Do the following before next class:
  • To be announced
Monday
October 26
Linear combinations of random variables
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Wednesday
October 28
Properties of linear combinations
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Friday
October 30
Conditional distributions and expectation
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Monday
November 2
Limit theorems
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Wednesday
November 4
Limit theorems
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Friday
November 6
Transformations: distribution function method
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Monday
November 9
Bivariate tranformation theorem
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Wednesday
November 11
Order statistics
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Friday
November 13
Catch up
Do the following before next class:
  • to be announced
Monday
November 16
Review
Final exam information will be posted.
Thursday
November 19
Final exam
2:00 – 4:00pm