Mathematical statistics is the study of statistics from a mathematical standpoint, using probability theory as well as other branches of mathematics such as linear algebra and analysis.

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Why are maximum likelihood estimators used?

Is there a motivating reason for using maximum likelihood estimators? As for as I can tell there is no reason why they should be unbiased estimators (Can their expectation even be calculated in a ...
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What's the difference between Rao-Blackwell Theorem and Lehmann-Scheffé Theorem?

I know that the Rao-Blackwell theorem states that an unbiased estimator given a sufficient statistic will yield the best unbiased estimator. Is the only difference between Lehmann-Scheffé and Rao-...
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How does accuracy of a survey depend on sample size and population size?

Which survey is more accurate? Assume the samples are taken perfectly randomly. A sample of 100 people out of a population of 1000 (sample is 10% of population) A sample of 1000 people out of a ...
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Improbable vs Impossible?

I was wondering how mathematics in general or any of its sub fields e.g.statistics, probability, define the words Improbable and Impossible. I get their English meaning, that something is impossible ...
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What is the T-distribution, and what is it used for?

(I'll post my own answer to this, but don't hesitate to post your own!) Student's t-distribution, or T-distribution, was introduced in 1908 by William Sealey Gossett writing under the pseudonym "...
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Expected number of card draws to get all 4 suits

You have a standard 52 card deck, with 13 cards of each of the 4 suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, Clubs). What is the expected number of cards you have to draw from the deck until you have all 4 suits ...
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Proof for the calculation of mean in negative binomial distribution

I am trying to figure out the mean for negative binomial distribution but have run into mistakes. I know there are other posts on deriving the mean bu I am attempting to derive it in my own way. I ...
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269 views

Birthday “Paradox” - another, different, version!

Background Many people are familiar with the so-called Birthday "Paradox" that, in a room of $23$ people, there is a better than $50/50$ chance that two of them will share the same birthday. In its ...
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Probability of duplicate GUID

A GUID (globally unique identifier) is a 32 character hexadecimal string: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globally_Unique_Identifier If you randomly generate 2, the chance of them being the same is ...
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Determine the Size of a Test Bank

Suppose you have two people take an exam which is composed of 30 questions which are randomly chosen from a test bank of n questions. Person A and Person B both take different randomly generated ...
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What does the Big intersection or union sign of a set means?

Normally what I know is that you can make a union or an intersection between 2 sets. In this expression Its a big union of a set. I'm asking about the meaning of such expression, What does it mean. ...
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What is continuity correction in statistics

Can someone please explain to me the idea behind continuity correction and when is it necessary to add or subtract $\dfrac{1}{2}$ from the desired number (how do we tell whether we need to add or ...
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Consecutive Coin Toss with static tosses

I'm writing an algorithm for a coin toss problem. But I have a problem understanding the calculation given. Here is the question: You have an unbiased coin which you want to keep tossing until ...
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147 views

Monte-Carlo for the Wasserstein metric

Let $(X,d)$ be some metric space and assume that $d\leq 1$. Further, let $\mu, $ $\nu$ be two Borel probability measures on $X$ and let $$ \Gamma(\mu,\nu) = \{\gamma - \text{measure on }X\times X:\...
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67 views

Never seen this notation before: $\int (y-f(x))^2 Pr(dx,dy) $

I have never seen an integral like this: $$\int (y-f(x))^2 Pr(dx,dy) $$ What is that? More precisely what is $Pr(dx,dy)$? And how is that integral defined? I found it in Elements of Statistical ...
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170 views

How Do I Find My Car

I have been discussing this problem with a coworker for a few days now and neither of us have made any headway on it. I would appreciate any help with a possible solution or maybe a suggestion of a ...
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113 views

What is the limit behavior of this random sum?

Let $(X_n\mid n\in\mathbb{N})$ be an i.i.d. sequence of random variables taking values in $\mathbb{R}$. What can be said about the limit behavior of \begin{equation} S_n:=\sum_{i=1}^n\frac{X_i}{i} \...
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Mean and Median in a Classic River Crossing Problem

Consider the following classic problem: Four people on the west side of a river wish to use their single boat to get to the east side of a river. Each boat ride can hold at most two people, and the ...
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A function of two cumulative probability distributions with same first 2 moments

Let $\Phi_1$ and $\Phi_2$ be cumulative probability distribution functions with domain $[L, \infty)$, $L\geq 0$, both distributions having the same expectation $\mu$ and the same second moment (hence ...
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The law of the unconscious statistician

In Casella and Berger's Statistical Inference (2nd edition) it says at the start of section 2.2 (page 55) when defining expectations that If $ \mathrm{E} \,|g(X)| = \infty $ we say that $ \mathrm{...
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715 views

Statistics: Why do we divide by $\sqrt{n}$ for sample standard deviation

Can someone tell me if my explanations/understanding is on the right track? Suppose we have a set of variances, each of them identical, where $V_{1}(x) + V_{2}(x) + ...+ V_{j}(x) = \sigma^2$. If we ...
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344 views

Does “50/50 chance of.. . ” convey information?

I distinctly remember the professor in the undergrad introductory systems & control course saying that "when weather forecasters say there's a 50% chance of precipitation, they are conveying no ...
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Correlated Poisson Distribution

$X_1$ and $X_2$ are discrete stochastic variables. They can both be modeled by a Poisson process with arrival rates $\lambda_1$ and $\lambda_2$ respectively. $X_1$ and $X_2$ have a constant ...
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Maximum Likelihood Estimation of an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process

I am wondering whether an analytical expression of the maximum likelihood estimates of an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process is available. The setup is the following: Consider a one-dimensional Ornstein-...
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244 views

Tuning the birthday paradox

I have limited access to a collection $X_1,\ldots,X_m$ of sets of positive integers. Each $X_i$ is "moderately large" (a brief survey has found them to contain about $10^6$ elements in each set), but ...
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Estimate the size of a set from which a sample has been equiprobably drawn?

Here is the problem I'm trying to solve: In order to send spam, a spammer generates fake nicknames, by picking random girl names (and appending a random number to it). I suppose it randomly and ...
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645 views

Buckets of Balls, Will one fill if I add another Ball?

I was refereed here by stackoverflow.com. With some searching I found this: another balls and bins question, but its not quite what I am looking for. Rather the inverse. IE the expected number of ...
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395 views

License Plate Statistics

California issues license plates in numeric order (if we turn the letters into numbers). I have fun noticing the latest plate I have seen. I am interested in what you can derive from a series of ...
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587 views

“Mastermind”-esque safe opening problem.

I read this interview question for a trading job and it seems quite difficult. What is the technique to solving it? You have a safe with six digits and a light. You can input a code, if you have ...
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30 views

How to estimate of coefficients of logistic model

Consider model $logit(p)=a+bx$. I would like to get a analytic formula of $a$ and $b$ like in linear regression. In linear regression, we can get a formula of estimates of $a$ and $b$. I tried using ...
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411 views

What is a formal definition of 'randomness'?

What is a rigorous mathematical/logical definition of 'randomness'? Under what conditions can we truthfully apply the predicate 'is random'?
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181 views

Spivak alike books for Probability and/or Statistics

I am looking for a Probability/Statistics book with an style alike to that of Spivak's Calculus, that is, a book with the following characteristics: Directed more towards Math majors rather than ...
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278 views

Seasonal adjustment and Fourier analysis

I've been reading up on seasonal adjustment (removing "seasonal" periodic components from a time series) recently and although I see a lot of fancy work around ARIMA models and fancy ways to detect ...
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Why can't I use the variance of the sample average in the Central Limit Theorem for the weak-stationary process?

Under mild conditions $\dfrac{\bar{X}-\mu}{\sqrt{\sigma^2/n}}$ approaches the standard normal (where $\sigma^2$ is the process variance, not the marginal variance $\sigma^2_x$). Why is the ...
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739 views

Empirical distribution vs. the true one: How fast $KL( \hat{P}_n || Q)$ converges to $KL( P || Q)$?

Let $X_1,X_2,\dots$ be i.i.d. samples drawn from a discrete space $\mathcal{X}$ according to probability distribution $P$, and denote the resulting empirical distribution based on n samples by $\hat{P}...
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Median of the F-distribution

Is the median of the F-distribution with m and n degrees of freedom decreasing in n, for any m? From experiments it looks like it might be, but I have been unable to prove it.
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Variance of a max function

Say $x_1$ and $x_2$ are normal random variables with known means and standard deviations and $C$ is a constant. If $y = \max(x_1,x_2,C)$, what is $\mathrm{Var}(y)$? Well, I forgot to tell that $x_1$ ...
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“How many public playgrounds exist in the United States?” How to answer using statistics and probability

I have a goal of estimating how many public playgrounds exist in the United States. There are many methods of gathering real data about playgrounds, but, unfortunately, there is no single authority ...
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Sufficient statistics vs. Bayesian sufficient statistics

Given sample data $x_1, \ldots, x_n$ generated from a probability distribution $f(x|\theta)$ ($\theta$ being an unknown parameter), a statistic $T(x_1, \ldots, x_n)$ of the sample data is called ...
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Higher math and statistics/probability

So I've heard that certain areas of statistics and probability use manifolds and results from analysis and topology. Given that I lack the background to see where manifolds would become useful in ...
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Hottest Days of The Year

Recently, there has been much talk in the media of it being the hottest day of the year so far. It has always seemed to me that there are likely many more of these in the northern hemisphere than the ...
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Donsker's Theorem for triangular arrays

Assume we have a sequence of smooth i.i.d. random variables $(X_i)_{i=1}^{\infty}$. Given $\alpha>0$, does some sort of Donsker's Theorem hold for $\left(\frac{X_i}{n^{\alpha}}\right)_{i=1}^n$? ...
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Does this calculation have a name, or a generic formulation?

Background I would appreciate help in identifying / explaining this operation: To calculate each of the $n$ values of $f(\Phi)$: sample from the distribution of each of $i$ parameters, $\phi_i$ ...
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Expected Value of the maximum of two exponentially distributed random variables

I want to find the expected value of $\text{max}\{X,Y\}$ where $X$ ist $\text{exp}(\lambda)$-distributed and $Y$ ist $\text{exp}(\eta)$-distributed. X and Y are independent. I figured out how to do ...
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529 views

Why does the keyword “distinct” change the solution to much?

I don't understand why the second answer is different from the first. Aren't they the exact same thing? How many ways can we distribute 10 distinct balls into 5 distinct boxes? $5^{10}$ is correct ...
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Closed form equation for win percentage of two battling armies

I was pondering a battle mechanic for a board game that is similar to, but simpler than battling armies in Risk. Consider one army of size X and a second army of size Y. The battle occurs by ...
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How to calculate percentile? Is it possible to get 100 percentile?

How do we calculate percentile? I think it should be calculated as: P = Total number of candidates L = Number of candidates whose marks are below yours ...
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How can I calculate “most popular” more accurately?

I'm developing a website at the moment. The website allows users to "rate" a post from 0 to 5. Posts can then be displayed in order of popularity. At the moment, my method of calculation is pretty ...
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Generalization of variance to random vectors

Let $X$ be a random variable. Then its variance (dispersion) is defined as $D(X)=E((X-E(X))^2)$. As I understand it, this is supposed to be a measure of how far off from the average we should expect ...
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If $X \sim N(0,1)$, why is $E(X^2)=1$?

If $X$ is a normally distributed with mean $0$ and variance $1$, expectation of $X$ equals $0$ but why is $E(X^2)=1$?