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Random Variable

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Pre-Test

Instruction: Answer the following.

1. Give an example of an event that is using a random variable in finding the results.

Discussion

Random Variables

Discrete and Continuous Random Variables:

A variable is a quantity whose value changes.

A discrete variable is a variable whose value is obtained by counting.

Examples:

number of red marbles in a jar

number of heads when flipping three coins

students grade level

Examples:

weight of students in class

time it takes to get to school

distance traveled between classes

random phenomenon.

The probability distribution of a random variable X tells what the possible values

of X are and how probabilities are assigned to those values

A discrete random variable X has a countable number of possible values.

Example: Let X represent the sum of two dice.

Then the probability distribution of X is as follows:

X

P(X

)

10

a probability histogram.

numbers.

curve.

The probability that X is between an interval of numbers is the area under the

density curve between the interval endpoints

number is zero

Post Test

Instruction: Answer the following.

1. Family has 3 children. Probability of type A is for each child. What are the

probabilities of 0, 1, 2, or 3 with type A?

2. A die is thrown repeatedly until a 6 is obtained. Find the probability density function

for the number times we throw the die.

Instruction: Answer the following.

1. Give an example of an event that is using a random variable in finding the results.

Solution:

Tossing a coin, rolling a dice/die, knowing blood types, etc.

Solution:

S = {HH, HT,TH,TT}, and X - number of heads. Then we get:

HH HT TH TT X 2 1 1 0

X

HH

2

HT

1

TH

1

TT

0

Instruction: Answer the following.

1. Family has 3 children. Probability of type A is for each child. What are the

probabilities of 0, 1, 2, or 3 with type A?

Solution:

Sample Space: For each child, write either O or A. There are eight possible

arrangements of O and A for three births. These are the simple events.

S = {OOO, OOA, OAO, AOO, OAA, AOA, AAO, AAA}

Sample Space and Probabilities: The eight simple events are equally likely. Each

has probability (1/2)(1/2)(1/2) = 1/8

Random Variable X: number of Type A in three children. For each simple event,

the value of X is the number of As listed.

Event

P

X= # of

type A

OOO

1/8

0

OOA

1/8

1

OAO

1/8

1

AOO

1/8

1

OAA

1/8

2

AOA

1/8

2

AAO

1/8

2

2. A die is thrown repeatedly until a 6 is obtained. Find the probability density function

for the number times we throw the die.

Solution:

Let X be the random variable representing the number of times we throw the die.

P(X = 1) = 1/6 (if we only throw the die once, we get a 6 on our first throw. The

probability of this is 1/6).

P(X = 2) = (5/6) (1/6) (if we throw the die twice before getting a 6, we must

throw something that isn't a 6 with our first throw, the probability of which is 5/6 and

we must throw a 6 on our second throw, the probability of which is 1/6)

In general, P(X = x) = (5/6)(x-1) (1/6).

AAA

1/8

3

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