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Chapter 16

Random Variables

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Take out a piece of paper and be ready to write down answers to these questions as you watch the video.
For the tossing-four-coins experiment, x was defined to be the number of heads. What are the possible values for x? 2. Given the probability distribution for x, what is the sum of the probabilities? 3. Based on the probability histogram, what is the most likely number of heads to come up in a string of four coin tosses? 4. What was the most likely cause of the Challenger disaster? 5. What rule of probability was used to find p(0), the probability that none of the six independent field joints failed? 6. What is the relationship between the probability that none of the field joints failed and the probability that at least one of the field joints failed? http://www.learner.org/courses/againstallodds/unitpages/unit20.html
1.

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Aim 12/13/13

Understanding the concept of a random variable Differentiating between continuous and discrete random variables Creating probability distributions for discrete random variables Constructing probability histograms Calculating the mean and standard deviation of discrete random variables Homework for Monday: Read Chapter 16, #1-7 ODD
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Aim 12/16/13

How do we solve problems involving random variables? Homework #37: Read Chapter 15, #1-17 ODD

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Expected Value: Center

A random variable assumes a value based on the outcome of a random event. We use a capital letter, like X, to denote a random variable. A particular value of a random variable will be denoted with the corresponding lower case letter, in this case x.

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Expected Value: Center (cont.)

There are two types of random variables: Discrete random variables can take one of a countable number of distinct outcomes. Example: Number of credit hours Continuous random variables can take any numeric value within a range of values. Example: Cost of books this term

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Expected Value: Center (cont.)

A probability model for a random variable consists of: The collection of all possible values of a random variable, and the probabilities that the values occur. Of particular interest is the value we expect a random variable to take on, notated (for population mean) or E(X) for expected value.

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Expected Value: Center (cont.)

The expected value of a (discrete) random variable can be found by summing the products of each possible value by the probability that it occurs:

m = E ( X ) = x P (x )

Note: Be sure that every possible outcome is included in the sum and verify that you have a valid probability model to start with.

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More About Means and Variances

Adding or subtracting a constant from data shifts the mean but doesnt change the variance or standard deviation: E(X c) = E(X) c Var(X c) = Var(X)

Example: Consider everyone in a company receiving a $5000 increase in salary.

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More About Means and Variances (cont.)

In general, multiplying each value of a random variable by a constant multiplies the mean by that constant and the variance by the square of the constant: E(aX) = aE(X) Var(aX) = a2Var(X)

Example: Consider everyone in a company receiving a 10% increase in salary.

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Independent Practice

On Valentines Day the Quiet Nook restaurant offers a Lucky Loves Special that could save couples money on their romantic dinners. When the waiter brings the check, hell also bring four aces from the deck of cards Hell shuffle them and lay them out face flat on the table. The couple will then get to turn one card over. If its a black ace, theyll owe the full amount, but if its the ace of cards, the waiter will give them a $20 Lucky Lover discount. If they turn over the ace of diamonds, theyll get to turn over one of the remaining cards, earning a $10 discount for finding the ace of hearts this time. Question: Based on the probability model for the size of the Lucky Lovers discount, what is the expected discount for the couple?
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Aim 12/18/13

How do we solve problems involving random variables? Check Homework #37: Read Chapter 16, #1-17 ODD Homework #38: Read Chapter 16, #21-29 ODD

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First Center, Now Spread

For data, we calculated the standard deviation by first computing the deviation from the mean and squaring it. We do that with discrete random variables as well. The variance for a random variable is:

s = Var ( X ) = (x - m ) P (x )
2 2

The standard deviation for a random variable is:

s = SD ( X ) = Var ( X )
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Independent Practice

Here is the probability model for the Lucky Lovers restaurant discount. We found that couples can expectant average discount of mu = $5.83. Question: What is the standard deviation of the discounts.
Outcome Ace of Hearts Ace of Black Ace Diamonds, then Ace of Hearts

x
P(X=x)

20
1/4

10
1/12

0
2/3

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More About Means and Variances (cont.)

In general, The mean of the sum of two random variables is the sum of the means. The mean of the difference of two random variables is the difference of the means.
E(X Y) = E(X) E(Y)

If the random variables are independent, the variance of their sum or difference is always the sum of the variances.
Var(X Y) = Var(X) + Var(Y)

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Independent Practice

Weve determined that couples dining at the Quiet Nook can expect Lucky Lovers discounts averaging $5.83 with a standard deviation $8.62. Suppose that for several weeks the restaurant has also been distributing coupons worth $5 off any one meal (one discount per table.) Question: If every couple dining there on Valentines Day brings a coupon, what will the mean and standard deviation of the total discounts theyll receive?
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Independent Practice

On Valentines Day at th Quiet Nook, couples may get a Lucky Lovers discount averaging $5.83 with a standard deviation of $8.62. When two couples dine together on a single deck, the restaurant doubles the discount offer - $40 for the Ace of Hearts on the first card and $20 on the second. Question: What are the mean and standard deviations of such foursomes?

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Aim 12/19/13

How do we solve problems involving random variables? Check Homework #38: Read Chapter 16, #21-29 ODD Homework #39 for Friday: Read Chapter 16, #3141 ODD

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Independent Practice

The Lucky Lovers discount for couples avergaes $5.83 with a standard deviation of 8.62. Weve seen that is the restaurant doubles the discount offer for two couples dining together on a single check, they can expect to save $11.66 with a standard deviation of $17.24. Some couples decide instead to get separate checks and pool their discounts. Question: You and your date go to this restaurant with another couple and agree to share any benefit of this promotion. Does it matter whether you will pay together or separately?
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Independent Practice

The Lucky Lovers discount at the Quiet Nook averages $5.83 with a standard deviation of $8.62. Just up the street, the Wise Fool Restaurant has a competing Lottery of Love promotion. There a couple can select a specially prepared chocolate from a large bowl and unwrap it to learn the size of the discount. The restaurants manager says the discounts vary with an average of $10.00 and a standard deviation of $15.00. Question: How much can you expect to save at the Wise Fool? What is the standard deviation?
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Independent Practice

The Quiet Nooks Lucky Lovers promotion offers couples discounts averaging $5.83 with a standard deviation of $8.62. The restaurant owner is planning to serve 40 couples on Valentines Day. Question: What is the expected total of the discounts the owner will give? With what standard deviation?

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Continuous Random Variables

Random variables that can take on any value in a range of values are called continuous random variables. Now, any single value wont have a probability, but Continuous random variables have means (expected values) and variances. We wont worry about how to calculate these means and variances in this course, but we can still work with models for continuous random variables when were given the parameters.
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Continuous Random Variables (cont.)

Good news: nearly everything weve said about how discrete random variables behave is true of continuous random variables, as well. When two independent continuous random variables have Normal models, so does their sum or difference. This fact will let us apply our knowledge of Normal probabilities to questions about the sum or difference of independent random variables.

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Independent Practice

Consider the company that manufactures and ships small stereo systems. The time required to pack the stereos can be described by the Normal model with a mean of 9 minutes and a standard deviation of 1.5 minutes. The times for the boxing cage can also be modeled as Normal, with a mean of 6 minutes, and a standard deviation of 1 minute. 1. What is the probability that packing two consecutive systems takes over 20 minutes? 2.What percentage of stereo systems take longer to pack then to box?
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What Can Go Wrong?

Probability models are still just models. Models can be useful, but they are not reality. Question probabilities as you would data, and think about the assumptions behind your models. If the model is wrong, so is everything else.

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What Can Go Wrong? (cont.)

Dont assume everythings Normal. You must Think about whether the Normality Assumption is justified. Watch out for variables that arent independent: You can add expected values for any two random variables, but you can only add variances of independent random variables.

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What Can Go Wrong? (cont.)

Dont forget: Variances of independent random variables add. Standard deviations dont. Dont forget: Variances of independent random variables add, even when youre looking at the difference between them. Dont write independent instances of a random variable with notation that looks like they are the same variables.

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What have we learned?

We know how to work with random variables. We can use a probability model for a discrete random variable to find its expected value and standard deviation. The mean of the sum or difference of two random variables, discrete or continuous, is just the sum or difference of their means. And, for independent random variables, the variance of their sum or difference is always the sum of their variances.

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What have we learned? (cont.)

Normal models are once again special. Sums or differences of Normally distributed random variables also follow Normal models.

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