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Probability

Counting Principle – If event M can occur in m ways and is followed by an


independent event N that can occur in n ways, then the event M followed by the
event N can occur in m ∙ n ways.

Ex. Marielle has to choose her outfit from 3 pairs of shorts, 4 shirts, and 2 pairs of
shoes. 3 x 4 x 2 = 24 choices.

Probability of success and failure – If an event can succeed in s ways and fail in
f ways, then the probabilities of success P(s), and of failure, P(f) are as follows:

P(s) = s__ P(f) = __f__


s+f s+f

Ex. What is the probability of Marielle picking a rock CD from her collection of 4
rock CDs, 8 rap CDs, and 5 country CDs? 4/17

Probability of two independent events – If two events A and B are


independent, then the probability of both events occurring is:

P(A and B) = P(A) ∙ P(B)

Ex. A green die and a red die are tossed. What is the probability that a 2 shows
on the green die and a 6 shows on the red die?

1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36

Probability of two dependent events – If two events A and B are dependent,


then the probability of both events occurring is:

P(A and B) = P(A) ∙ P(B following A)

Ex. From a deck of 52 cards, find the probability of choosing a queen and then a
10 if the first card is not replaced?

4/52 x 4/51 = 16/2652


Probability of mutually exclusive events – If two events A and B, are mutually
exclusive (can’t happen at the same time), then the probability that either A or B
occurs is the sum of their probabilities.

P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B)

Ex. From a deck of 52 cards, what is the probability of drawing a jack or a


queen?

P(jack) 4/52 + p(queen) 4/52 = 8/52 or 2/13

Probability of inclusive events – If two events, A and B, are inclusive (not


mutually exclusive), then the probability that A or B occurs is the sum of their
probabilities decreased by the probability of both occurring.

P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) – P(A and B)

Ex. From a deck of 52 cards, what is the probability of drawing a queen or a


heart from a deck of cards?

P(queen) 4/52 + P(heart) 13/52 - P(heart queen) 1/52 = 16/52 or 4/13

Permutations P(n,r) – The number of permutations (a group of objects or


people are arranged in a certain order) of n objects taken r at a time.

P(n,r) = n!__
(n - r)!

Ex. A group of five teens went to the movie theater. They found a row with 7
empty seats. How many different ways can the teens be seated in the row?

7! 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 2520
(7 – 5)! 2x1
Permutations with repetitions – The number of permutations of n objects of
which p are alike and q are alike is:

__n!_
p!q!

Ex. How many different ways can the letters of the word PERPENDICULAR be
arranged?

13! 13 x 12 x 11 x 10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1
2!2!2! 2x2x2

= 778,377,600 ways

Circular permutations – If n distinct objects are arranged in a circle, then there


are (n-1)! permutations of the objects around the circle.

Ex. How many ways can we arrange 6 people around a table?

(6 – 1)! = 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 ways

Combinations C(n,r) – The number of combinations (order is not important) of n


distinct objects taken r at a time is:

C(n,r) = __n!___
(n - r)!r!

Ex. A basket contains 4 squash, 5 gourds, and 8 pumpkins. How many ways can
2 squash, 1 gourd, and 2 pumpkins be chosen?

C(4, 2) ∙ C(5,1) ∙ C(8,2) =