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**For any questions: Alp Eren AKYÜZ – alperen.akyuz@boun.edu.tr
**

NOTE: The purpose of these exercises is to make you familiar with the Binomial

Distribution questions. When reading the question part, try to spot the clues that will

reveal you the type of the question.

Question - 1: Malaria is an important problem in many African countries. You have

received a report on a small town named as ‘Pala’, which states the population as 10,000. The

medical staff estimated that, in the region, 4% of the population suffers from the disease. If

the probability of surviving malaria is 95%, what is the probability of exactly 5 people dying

in Pala?

Answer to Q1:

First determine the type of the question.

Determine the type of the random variable

- Number of people is found by counting, therefore it is a discrete variable.

- We are also asked the probability X being equal to a number. This also points to a

discrete probability distribution question.

Check for the parameters given, we have:

- Population: 10,000

- Probability of survival: 0.95

- Ratio of people with malaria: 0.04 (Relevant? Yes; but indirectly)

This is clearly a binomial distribution question. Now follow the steps below to arrive at the

solution:

i. Define success: This is revealed at the last sentence: “...the probability of 5 people

dying...”. So, surviving is the succesful outcome.

ii. Determine the probability of success in a single observation: probability of surviving

is 0.95, then probability of death(success) is 0.05

iii. Determine the relevant population(the number of trials) if it is not already given in

the question:

Now, here is the tricky part: The probability of success only applies to the

infected population. Staff estimates that 4% of the population has the disease so the

number of infected should be 400 and the number of healthy should be 9,600.

So now we know that 9,600 people are already healthy and are going to

survive the disease anyway, all that remains is to calculate the probability of 5 people

dying out of 400.

Now, just apply the formula:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

5 395

400

1 1 0.05 0.95

5

n X

X

n

P X p p

X

÷ | | | |

= = ÷ =

| |

\ . \ .

Use your scientific calculator to arrive at the solution:

You need to type in

400 5 0.05 5 0.95 395

Question - 2: Dr. Haus, diagnoses his patients correctly with a probability of 98%, and

the probability of a well diagnosed patient being cured is 92%. If 100 patients apply in a

given month to the hospital what are the chances of 95 being correctly diagnosed and 92

being cured?

Answer to Q2:

First determine the type of question. Once again, we have discrete random variables

and are asked the probability of an equality.

Check for the parameters given:

- Population: 100 patients

- Probability of being correctly diagnosed: 0.98

- Probability of being cured, after being correctly diagnosed: 0.92

So it must be a binomial distribution question.

Notice the irregularity in the question: there are two probabilities of success: 0.98 and

0.92, for two different events (diagnose and treatment). There are two consecutive events and

we are asked the final result’s probability. Think of the question as a two-step process: “What

is the probability of 95 people out of 100 being diagnosed correctly by Dr. Haus and out of

this 95, 92 being cured.”. We construct the formula as the following:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

95 5 92 3

100 95

92 0.98 0.02 0.92 0.08

95 92

P X

| | | |

= =

| |

\ . \ .

Use your scientific calculator to arrive at the solution:

You need to type in:

100 95 0.98 95 0.02 5

95 92 0.92 92 0.08 3

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