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Random Variables

A random variable is a way of recording a

quantitative variable of a random experiment.

4. Random Variables

A random variable is a way of recording a

quantitative variable of a random experiment.

random variables.

4. Random Variables

A random variable is a way of recording a

quantitative variable of a random experiment.

random variables.

distribution (such as a binomial distribution)

then our work becomes easier. We use

formulas and tables.

5. Continuous Random Variables

quantitative variable of a random experiment.

random variables.

distribution (such as a binomial distribution)

then our work becomes easier. We use

formulas and tables.

5. Continuous Random Variables

range of values, not just particular ones.

Examples:

Heights

Distance a golfer hits the ball with their driver

Time to run 100 meters

Electricity usage of a home.

Continuous probability

distribution functions

For a discrete random variable,

probabilities are given as a table of values,

and the distribution can be graphed as a

bar graph.

probabilities are specified by a continuous

function. The graph of the probability

distribution function is a curve.

Figure 5.1 A probability f(x) for a

continuous random variable x

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Definition

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Figure 5.2 Density Function for Friction

Coefficient, Example 5.1

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Find probability friction is less than 10.

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Find probability friction is less than 10.

Solution:Probabiity = area of shaded

triangle = (1/2)(5)(0.2)=0.5

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Uniform Distribution

A Uniform Distribution has equally likely

values over the range of possible

outcomes.

Uniform Distribution

A Uniform Distribution has equally likely

values over the range of possible

outcomes.

distribution is a rectangle with area equal

to 1.

Example

The figure below depicts the probability distribution for

temperatures in a manufacturing process. The

temperatures are controlled so that they range

between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius, and every possible

temperature is equally likely.

P(x)

0.2

0

x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

Example

Note that the total area under the

“curve” is 1.

P(x)

0.2

0

x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

P(x)

Example

0.2

0 x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

exactly 4 degrees?

P(x)

Example

0.2

0 x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

exactly 4 degrees?

Answer: 0

Explanation

Since we have a continuous random variable

there are an infinite number of possible

outcomes between 0 and 5, the probability of

one number out of an infinite set of numbers is

0.

Example

What is the probability the temperature is

between 10C and 40C?

P(x)

0.2

0 x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

Example

What is the probability the temperature is

between 10C and 40C?

P(x)

0.2

0 x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

What is the probability the temperature is

between 10C and 40C?

P(x)

0.2

0 x

0 1 2 3 4 5

Temperature (degrees Celsius)

We know that the total area of the rectangle

is 1, and we can see that the part of the

rectangle between 1 and 4 is 3/5 of the total,

so P(1 x 4) = 3/5*(1) = 0.6.

Review: Probabilities and Area

For a density curve depicting the

probability distribution of a continuous

random variable,

– the total area under the curve is 1,

– there is a direct correspondence between

area and probability.

– Only the probability of an event occurring

in some interval can be evaluated.

– The probability that a continuous random

variable takes on any particular value is

zero.

General Uniform Distribution

A Uniform Distribution has equally likely

values over the range of possible

outcomes, say c to d.

1

Height of the density function : f(x)

d c

cd

Mean

2

d c

Standard Deviation

12

Normal Distributions

This is the most common observed

distribution of continuous random variables.

A normal distribution corresponds to bell-

shaped curves.

Normal Distributions

This is the most common observed

distribution of continuous random variables.

A normal distribution corresponds to bell-

shaped curves.

e ( x ) 2 / 2 2

y

2

Reminder: Mu is the mean, sigma is the standard deviation.

Examples

The following are examples of normally

distributed everyday data.

– Grades on a test.

– How many chips are in a small bag of potatoe

chips.

– The measurements of distance between two

points.

– The heights of students in this class.

Normal Distributions

Normal Distributions

– µ it’s centered, σ is how far it’s spread out.

Standard Normal Distribution

The Standard Normal Distribution is a

normal probability distribution that has a

mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

0, 1

In this way the formula giving the heights of

the normal curve is simplified greatly.

Z-score

Standard Normal Probabilities

z takes on values between 0 and 1, which

is represented by the area under the

curve between 0 and 1.

P(0 z 1) = 0.3413

P(0 z 1) = 0.341

Revelation!

Since the mean is 0 and the standard

deviation is 1, this tells us that the

probability that z is within one standard

deviation of the mean (either below or

above) is (2)(0.341)= 0.682.

P(0 z 1) = 0.341

Revelation!

Since the mean is 0 and the standard

deviation is 1, this tells us that the

probabiity that z is within one standard

deviation of the mean (either below or

above) is (2)(0.341)= 0.682.

Agrees with Empirical Rule: 68% of

data lies within one standard deviation

of the mean

Finding Probabilities when given

z-scores.

For a given z-score, the probability can be

found in a table in the back of the text

(Table IV), also see inside front cover.

the curve to the right between 0 and z. To

find other intervals requires some tricks.

Table 5.1

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Find probability z is between -

1.33 and +1.33.

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Want probability z is between -1.33 and +1.33.

Solution: Locate 1.33 in the row labeled 1.3 and the column

labeled .03. By symmetry, ans = 2(0.4082) = .8164

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Find probability z exceeds 1.96 in absolute

value.

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Areas under the standard normal curve for

z exceeding 1.96 in absolute value

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Areas under the standard normal curve for

z exceeding 1.96 in absolute value

Revelation!

It follows that the area of the un-

shaded region is 0.95. Agrees with

Empirical Rule which states that,

for data sets having a mound

shaped distribution, 95% of the

values lie within approximately 2

standard deviations of the mean

Keys to success

use it.

the course.

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