Questions tagged [probability]

For basic questions about probability and the questions associated with the calculation of probability, expected value, variance, standard deviation, or similar statistical quantities. For questions about the theoretical footing of probability (especially using [tag:measure-theory]), ask under [tag:probability-theory] instead. For questions about specific probability distributions, use [tag:probability-distributions] instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
103
votes
3answers
93k views

Expected time to roll all 1 through 6 on a die

What is the average number of times it would it take to roll a fair 6-sided die and get all numbers on the die? The order in which the numbers appear does not matter. I had this questions explained ...
47
votes
3answers
45k views

Explain why $E(X) = \int_0^\infty (1-F_X (t)) \, dt$ for every nonnegative random variable $X$

Let $X$ be a non-negative random variable and $F_{X}$ the corresponding CDF. Show, $$E(X) = \int_0^\infty (1-F_X (t)) \, dt$$ when $X$ has : a) a discrete distribution, b) a continuous ...
99
votes
20answers
217k views

In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?

In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls? I just dipped into a book, The Drunkard's Walk - How Randomness Rules Our Lives, ...
140
votes
16answers
79k views

Taking Seats on a Plane

This is a neat little problem that I was discussing today with my lab group out at lunch. Not particularly difficult but interesting implications nonetheless Imagine there are a 100 people in line to ...
29
votes
12answers
25k views

Proving Pascal's Rule : ${{n} \choose {r}}={{n-1} \choose {r-1}}+{{n-1} \choose r}$ when $1\leq r\leq n$

I'm trying to prove that ${n \choose r}$ is equal to ${{n-1} \choose {r-1}}+{{n-1} \choose r}$ when $1\leq r\leq n$. I suppose I could use the counting rules in probability, perhaps combination= ${{n}...
22
votes
1answer
10k views

Probability distribution in the coupon collector's problem

I'm trying to solve the well known Coupon Collector's Problem by explicitly finding the probability distribution (so far all the methods I read involve using some sort of trick). However, I'm not ...
68
votes
4answers
41k views

Intuition behind using complementary CDF to compute expectation for nonnegative random variables

I've read the proof for why $\int_0^\infty P(X >x)dx=E[X]$ for nonnegative random variables (located here) and understand its mechanics, but I'm having trouble understanding the intuition behind ...
75
votes
12answers
20k views

The Monty Hall problem

I was watching the movie 21 yesterday, and in the first 15 minutes or so the main character is in a classroom, being asked a "trick" question (in the sense that the teacher believes that he'll get the ...
49
votes
3answers
44k views

product distribution of two uniform distribution, what about 3 or more

Say $X_1, X_2, \ldots, X_n$ are independent and identically distributed uniform random variables on the interval $(0,1)$. What is the product distribution of two of such random variables, e.g., $Z_2 =...
58
votes
5answers
21k views

Probability for the length of the longest run in $n$ Bernoulli trials

Suppose a biased coin (probability of head being $p$) was flipped $n$ times. I would like to find the probability that the length of the longest run of heads, say $\ell_n$, exceeds a given number $m$, ...
75
votes
14answers
108k views

Expected Number of Coin Tosses to Get Five Consecutive Heads

A fair coin is tossed repeatedly until 5 consecutive heads occurs. What is the expected number of coin tosses?
19
votes
1answer
60k views

Gamma Distribution out of sum of exponential random variables

I have a sequence $T_1,T_2,\ldots$ of independent exponential random variables with paramter $\lambda$. I take the sum $S=\sum_{i=1}^n T_i$ and now I would like to calculate the probability density ...
35
votes
3answers
54k views

Pdf of the difference of two exponentially distributed random variables

Suppose we have $v$ and $u$, both are independent and exponentially distributed random variables with parameters $\mu$ and $\lambda$, respectively. How can we calculate the pdf of $v-u$?
94
votes
2answers
55k views

Expectation of the maximum of gaussian random variables

Is there an exact or good approximate expression for the expectation, variance or other moments of the maximum of $n$ independent, identically distributed gaussian random variables where $n$ is large? ...
123
votes
5answers
167k views

Is the product of two Gaussian random variables also a Gaussian?

Say I have $X \sim \mathcal N(a, b)$ and $Y\sim \mathcal N(c, d)$. Is $XY$ also normally distributed? Is the answer any different if we know that $X$ and $Y$ are independent?
4
votes
2answers
568 views

Applied Probability- Bayes theorem

I need help in all things related to identifying, defining conditions and solution feed back and reasoning most importantly. 1) A blood test indicates the presence of a particular disease 95 % of the ...
12
votes
3answers
32k views

How exactly are the beta and gamma distributions related?

According to Wikipedia, the Beta distribution is related to the gamma distribution by the following relation: $$\lim_{n\to\infty}n B(k, n) = \Gamma(k, 1)$$ Can you point me to a derivation of this ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How calculate the probability density function of $Z = X_1/X_2$

Let $X_1$ and $X_2$ be two continuous r.v., my question is: what is the p.d.f of $Z=X_1/X_2$?
52
votes
7answers
136k views

Poisson Distribution of sum of two random independent variables $X$, $Y$

$X \sim \mathcal{P}( \lambda) $ and $Y \sim \mathcal{P}( \mu)$ meaning that $X$ and $Y$ are Poisson distributions. What is the probability distribution law of $X + Y$. I know it is $X+Y \sim \mathcal{...
32
votes
3answers
16k views

Expectation of the maximum of i.i.d. geometric random variables

Given $n$ independent geometric random variables $X_n$, each with probability parameter $p$ (and thus expectation $E\left(X_n\right) = \frac{1}{p}$), what is $$E_n = E\left(\max_{i \in 1 .. n}X_n\...
29
votes
4answers
18k views

Probability that a quadratic polynomial with random coefficients has real roots

The following is a homework question for which I am asking guidance. Let $A$, $B$, $C$ be independent random variables uniformly distributed between $(0,1)$. What is the probability that the ...
43
votes
15answers
80k views

If you draw two cards, what is the probability that the second card is a queen?

We had this question arise in class today and I still don't understand the answer given. We were to assume that drawing cards are independent events. We were asked what the probability that the second ...
33
votes
7answers
5k views

Prove: $\binom{n}{k}^{-1}=(n+1)\int_{0}^{1}x^{k}(1-x)^{n-k}dx$ for $0 \leq k \leq n$

I would like your help with proving that for every $0 \leq k \leq n$, $$\binom{n}{k}^{-1}=(n+1)\int_{0}^{1}x^{k}(1-x)^{n-k}dx . $$ I tried to integration by parts and to get a pattern or to ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

Probability of tossing a fair coin with at least $k$ consecutive heads

Tossing a fair coin for $N$ times and we get a result series as $HTHTHHTT\dots~$, Here '$H$' denotes 'head' and '$T$' denotes 'tail' for a specific tossing each time. What is the probability that ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Find the Mean for Non-Negative Integer-Valued Random Variable

Let $X$ be a non-negative integer-valued random variable with finite mean. Show that $$E(X)=\sum^\infty_{n=0}P(X>n)$$ This is the hint from my lecturer. "Start with the definition $E(X)=\sum^\...
47
votes
4answers
15k views

Choose a random number between $0$ and $1$ and record its value. Keep doing it until the sum of the numbers exceeds $1$. How many tries do we need?

Choose a random number between $0$ and $1$ and record its value. Do this again and add the second number to the first number. Keep doing this until the sum of the numbers exceeds $1$. What's the ...
298
votes
7answers
87k views

Multiple-choice question about the probability of a random answer to itself being correct

I found this math "problem" on the internet, and I'm wondering if it has an answer: Question: If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the probability that you will be correct? ...
47
votes
11answers
46k views

Average Distance Between Random Points on a Line Segment

Suppose I have a line segment of length $L$. I now select two points at random along the segment. What is the expected value of the distance between the two points, and why?
26
votes
2answers
10k views

Probability that two random numbers are coprime is $\frac{6}{\pi^2}$

This is a really natural question for which I know a stunning solution. So I admit I have a solution, however I would like to see if anybody will come up with something different. The question is ...
14
votes
6answers
13k views

Probability of picking a random natural number

I randomly pick a natural number n. Assuming that I would have picked each number with the same probability, what was the probability for me to pick n before I did it?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

$P(X>0,Y>0)$ for a bivariate normal distribution with correlation $\rho$

$X$ and $Y$ have a bivariate normal distribution with $\rho$ as covariance. $X$ and $Y$ are standard normal variables. I showed that $X$ and $Z= \dfrac{Y-\rho X}{\sqrt{1-\rho^2}}$ are independent ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

X,Y are independent exponentially distributed then what is the distribution of X/(X+Y)

Been crushing my head with this exercise. I know how to get the distribution of a ratio of exponential variables and of the sum of them, but i can't piece everything together. The exercise goes as ...
28
votes
2answers
64k views

Calculation of the n-th central moment of the normal distribution $\mathcal{N}(\mu,\sigma^2)$

Since integration is not my strong suit I need some feedback on this, please: Let $Y$ be $\mathcal{N}(\mu,\sigma^2)$, the normal distrubution with parameters $\mu$ and $\sigma^2$. I know $\mu$ is the ...
24
votes
1answer
7k views

Probability that a random binary matrix is invertible? [duplicate]

What is the probability that a random $\{0,1\}$, $n \times n$ matrix is invertible? Assume the 0 and 1 are each present in an entry with probability $\frac{1}{2}$. Is there an explicit formula as a ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Book on combinatorial identities

Do you know any good book that deals extensively with identities obtained using combinatorial and/or probabilistic arguments (e.g., by solving the same combinatorial or probability problem in two ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you differentiate the likelihood function for the uniform distribution in finding the M.L.E.?

There is a classic problem: Suppose that $X_1,\ldots,X_n$ form an i.i.d. sample from a uniform distribution on the interval $(0,\theta)$, where $\theta>0$ is unknown. I would like to find the MLE ...
69
votes
6answers
18k views

Chance of meeting in a bar

Two people have to spend exactly 15 consecutive minutes in a bar on a given day, between 12:00 and 13:00. Assuming uniform arrival times, what is the probability they will meet? I am mainly ...
66
votes
10answers
81k views

Probability of 3 people in a room of 30 having the same birthday

I have been looking at the birthday problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem) and I am trying to figure out what the probability of 3 people sharing a birthday in a room of 30 people is. ...
33
votes
9answers
10k views

Boy Born on a Tuesday - is it just a language trick?

The following probability question appeared in an earlier thread: I have two children. One is a boy born on a Tuesday. What is the probability I have two boys? The claim was that it is not ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Birthday-coverage problem

I heard an interesting question recently: What is the minimum number of people required to make it more likely than not that all 365 possible birthdays are covered? Monte Carlo simulation suggests ...
13
votes
2answers
605 views

Looking for examples of Discrete / Continuous complementary approaches

Among many fascinating sides of mathematics, there is one that I praise, especially in teaching at the boundary between undergraduate/graduate level : the parallels that can be drawn between a "...
37
votes
5answers
29k views

Probability that n points on a circle are in one semicircle

Choose n points randomly from a circle, how to calculate the probability that all the points are in one semicircle? Any hint is appreciated.
9
votes
3answers
11k views

Hitting probability of biased random walk on the integer line

Lets say we start at point 1. Each successive point you have a, say, 2/3 chance of increasing your position by 1 and a 1/3 chance of decreasing your position by 1. The walk ends when you reach 0. ...
12
votes
2answers
24k views

How to compute moments of log normal distribution?

The computed moments of log normal distribution can be found here. How to compute them?
10
votes
1answer
9k views

If $X$ and $Y$ are independent then $f(X)$ and $g(Y)$ are also independent.

Knowing that if you have two independent $X$ and $Y$, and $ f $ and $ g $ measurable functions, how to show that then $ U = f (X) $ and $ V = g (Y) $ are still independent.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are numerical methods of evaluating $P(1 < Z \leq 2)$ for standard normal Z?

Let $Z \sim Norm(0, 1)$ and denote its PDF and CDF by $\phi$ and $\Phi$ respectively. Then, theoretically, $P(1 < Z \leq 2) = \Phi(2) - \Phi(1).$ However $\Phi$ cannot be expressed in closed form, ...
260
votes
13answers
37k views

Given an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite amount of time, would one of them write Hamlet?

Of course, we've all heard the colloquialism "If a bunch of monkeys pound on a typewriter, eventually one of them will write Hamlet." I have a (not very mathematically intelligent) friend who ...
39
votes
6answers
56k views

Expected Value of a Binomial distribution?

If $\mathrm P(X=k)=\binom nkp^k(1-p)^{n-k}$ for a binomial distribution, then from the definition of the expected value $$\mathrm E(X) = \sum^n_{k=0}k\mathrm P(X=k)=\sum^n_{k=0}k\binom nkp^k(1-p)^{n-k}...
32
votes
4answers
64k views

Expected value of maximum of two random variables from uniform distribution

If I have two variables $X$ and $Y$ which randomly take on values uniformly from the range $[a,b]$ (all values equally probable), what is the expected value for $\max(X,Y)$?
29
votes
2answers
12k views

Probability that a stick randomly broken in two places can form a triangle

Randomly break a stick (or a piece of dry spaghetti, etc.) in two places, forming three pieces. The probability that these three pieces can form a triangle is $\frac14$ (coordinatize the stick form $...

1
2 3 4 5
116