Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Determining probabilities

Today I gave you a little practice in specifying probabilities. What did we learn?

1. If the Mudhens played the Tigers, there are two possible outcomes (Mudhens win, Tiger wins), but they wouldn't be equally likely. I think the Tigers are the stronger team, so the probability that the Tigers win would be larger than 0.5.

2. Surprisingly, the chance that there are two matching birthdays on a baseball roster is over 50% -- we'll check this out soon.

3. Coins have no memory. So if you flip five consecutive heads, the chance that the next flip is heads is still 0.5.

The rest of the class was devoted to the Big League Baseball dice game. In the Fathom lab, we played both parts of the game many times. We were able to compute the probability that the red die will result in a strikeout, and compute the probability that a "in-play event" is a home run. Tomorrow, we'll see how these game probabilities match up with the probabilities of these events in real baseball.

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