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# Mechanical Engineering Laboratory I

MECE E3018
Fall 2016
Homework 1
Due Date: September 20, 2016
Professor Jeffrey W. Kysar
Note: For Problems 2-8, all calculations should be done by hand and should be confirmed with
MATLAB (see class notes for commands). When you perform interpolation with the z-tables,
of your MATLAB code for Problems 1 and 3.
(1) The Binomial Distribution is a probability distribution defined only at discrete values
of x. It describes a so-called Bernoulli process whereby an experiment consists of n
repeated trials each of which has only two possible outcomes. One possible outcome is
labeled a success and the other a failure. The probability of success of any one trial is
denoted as p and the probability of failure is given as q = 1 p. The random variable
x is an integer and describes the number of successful trials. The Binomial Distribution
describes the probability obtaining x successes out of n trials each with a p probability
of success, and is given by
 
n
f (x; n, p) =
px (1 p)nx
x
where


n!
n
=
x
x!(n x)!
is the binomial coefficient that is often spoken as n choose x.
(a) Write a short computer program to evaluate the Binomial Distribution for arbitrary
values of n and p using the equation for f (x; n, p). (Hint: Most programming languages have special functions to evaluate the binomial coefficient that works better
for large integers than a direct evaluation of the factorial terms.) The program
should calculate f (x; n, p) for integer values of x ranging from 0 to n, inclusive. Verify that your computer program is correct by comparing the output of your program
to values of the f (x; 4, 0.5) you obtain by making the calculations independently (i.e.
by hand or with a calculator).
(b) Plot the discrete probability distributions for f (x; 12, 0.5) and f (x; 48, 0.5) as bar
graphs.
(c) The mean, X, of the Binomial Distribution is known to be X = np and the variance, 2 , is known to be 2 = np(1 p). The continuous Normal Distribution has
functional form
(xX)2
1
f (x; X, ) = e 22
2
for < x < . When n and p = 1/2 the Binomial Distribution approaches
the Normal Distribution at the discrete values of x. Modify your program to superimpose the respective continuous Normal Distributions onto your plots for the
discrete Binomial Distributions f (x; 12, 0.5) and f (x; 48, 0.5).
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(2) A small piece of cloth was found at a scene of a crime. Ten fiber-diameter measurement
tests were conducted on two samples. The diameters (in mm) for cloth A were: 3.0806,
3.0232, 2.9010, 3.1340, 3.0290, 3.1479, 3.1138, 2.9316, 2.8708, and 2.9927; for cloth B:
2.9820, 2.9902, 3.0728, 2.9107, 2.9775, 2.9348, 2.9881, 3.2303, 2.9090, and 2.7979. Find
the mean, mode, median, and standard deviation for each sample.
(3) An engineer travels daily from home to office each morning with an average commute time
of 27.8 minutes with a standard deviation of 4.2 minutes. The travel time approximates
very closely a Normal Distribution.
(a) What is the probability that the the commute takes at least 35 minutes?
(b) If the engineer leaves home at 8:30 am and the office opens at 9:00 am, what percentage of days is the engineer late for work?
(c) A coupon for free coffee is given out at the office door only to those who arrive from
8:50 am to 9:00 am each day. On what percentage of days will the engineer miss
out on the coffee coupon?
(4) A finished inside diameter of a piston ring is normally distributed. The mean is 10
centimeters and standard deviation is 0.03 centimeter.
(a) What percentage of rings have inside diameters greater than 10.075 centimeters?
(b) What is the probability that the inside diameters of the piston rings will be between
9.97 and 10.03 centimeters?
(c) At what value diameter will 15% of the piston rings fall?
(5) The tensile strength of a certain group of metal components is normally distributed.
The mean is 10,000 kilograms per square centimeter and the standard deviation is 100
kilograms per square centimeter. Measurements are recorded to the nearest 50 kilograms
per square centimeter.
(a) What percentage of components are greater than 10,150 kilograms per square centimeter in tensile strength?
(b) Certain components will fail with a tensile strength below 9,000 kilograms per square
centimeter. Suppose a factory produces 3,000 components, how many are likely to
fail?
(6) The heights of students is normally distributed. There are 1000 students with a mean
height of 174.5 centimeters and a standard deviation of 6.9 centimeters. The heights are
recorded to the nearest half centimeter. How many students are expected to have height:
(a) less than 160.0 centimeters?
(b) between 171.5 and 182.0 centimeters inclusive?
(c) equal to 175.0 centimeters?
(d) greater than or equal to 188.0 centimeters?
(7) An automotive manufacturer removes the friction linings from the clutch plates of race
cars after some test runs. From 10 samples, the following values were recorded: 204.5,
231.1, 157.5, 190.5, 261.6, 127.0, 216.6, 172.7, 243.8, 291.0. Find the average wear and
its variance. Based on this sample, how many clutch plates out of a large set will be
expected to show wear more than 203 m?
(8) From a large data base, the County Highway Patrol has determined that the average
speed on a Friday afternoon of drivers on an interstate is 67 mph. The standard deviation
is 4 mph. How many drivers of 1000 will be traveling in excess of 72 mph?
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