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I'm an answer-checker who is rusty at probability. Can you solve this problem?
What is the probability that a random arrangement of the letters in the word THRUSTS will have the two T's next to each other? [more inside]

posted by 23skidoo on Mar 27, 2014 - 11 answers

posted by 23skidoo on Mar 27, 2014 - 11 answers

Can/how can one improve the estimate for a chance of an event with a small historical sample size by utilizing the chance of a related event with a large historical sample size? Example and half-assed guess inside. [more inside]

posted by Flunkie on Mar 20, 2014 - 16 answers

posted by Flunkie on Mar 20, 2014 - 16 answers

A coin flips three times and comes up heads 2/3. Not suspect.
But a coin flips 100,000 times and comes up heads 2 out of 3 times, that starts to look fishy. The standard probability of this is always roughly 50-50, but assuming a 2/3 ratio pointing to a "rigged" coin, how could you plot the increasing likelihood that a given coin is rigged? [more inside]

posted by ASoze on Jan 8, 2014 - 17 answers

posted by ASoze on Jan 8, 2014 - 17 answers

I have a question about probability math. I am essentially flipping a coin (except instead of a 50/50 chance, my odds are 50.5% heads, 49.5% tails).
I am concerned with the probability of me hitting heads (a 50.5% chance) several times in a row. [more inside]

posted by disillusioned on Dec 25, 2013 - 42 answers

posted by disillusioned on Dec 25, 2013 - 42 answers

Each card in a certain deck has three letters on it.
The first letter is either A, B, or C.
The second letter is either D, E, F, or G.
The third letter is either H, I, J, K, or L.
Every possible combination is represented exactly once in the deck. Ergo, there are 3x4x5=60 cards in the deck.
How can I determine the probability that a hand of X cards, drawn randomly from the deck, will include at least one of each of the letters?

posted by CustooFintel on Nov 2, 2013 - 32 answers

posted by CustooFintel on Nov 2, 2013 - 32 answers

Hi guys:
I hope that the green can help me on this- perhaps it's an easy problem for you:
I have 9 different playing cards and 2 players. The first player can take between 3 to 5 cards and the remainder are given to the second player, and then the game begins.
How many different starting hands (collectively between the two players) are there? The order of the cards in each player's hand does not matter. Thanks in advance!

posted by JiffyQ on Aug 29, 2013 - 20 answers

posted by JiffyQ on Aug 29, 2013 - 20 answers

I'm struggling to understand likelihood ratios (LR) in the context of diagnostic tests, and why a positive LR is influenced by the sensitivity of the test. [more inside]

posted by cacofonie on Aug 1, 2013 - 6 answers

posted by cacofonie on Aug 1, 2013 - 6 answers

The fallacy is assuming that statistic information about a thing is more relevant in dealing with a particular instance of that thing than available first-hand data. [more inside]

posted by CustooFintel on Mar 12, 2013 - 17 answers

posted by CustooFintel on Mar 12, 2013 - 17 answers

I'm a cataloging librarian who works a couple hours a week on the reference desk. This morning I had a patron come in to ask me for sources that back up the claim that the probability that life on earth formed by random chance is so small that some kind of divine intervention is more likely. [more inside]

posted by rabbitrabbit on Feb 14, 2013 - 33 answers

posted by rabbitrabbit on Feb 14, 2013 - 33 answers

Can you think of a method that allows an individual to pseudo randomly create a sequence of numbers (at the very least the randomness is opaque to the minds of other people) assuming said individual may only use his mind and body (no physical tools are allowed)? [more inside]

posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 21, 2012 - 7 answers

posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 21, 2012 - 7 answers

(Good) jobs involving probability and statistics other than math teacher or actuary? [more inside]

posted by CustooFintel on Dec 3, 2012 - 15 answers

posted by CustooFintel on Dec 3, 2012 - 15 answers

In this game, you roll a number of six-sided dice to get a **total**. The total is either the highest single die result, or the sum of any multiples rolled, whichever is higher.
For example: If I roll three dice and get a 3, 4, and 6, my total is 6. But if I roll a 4, 4, and 6, my total is 8, the sum of the two 4s.
What I want to find out is the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation of the possible totals given N dice. How might I create a simple script to compute this? [more inside]

posted by j0hnpaul on Nov 30, 2012 - 24 answers

posted by j0hnpaul on Nov 30, 2012 - 24 answers

What great books or resources are there for practicing probability word problems such as for standardized tests like the GRE? [more inside]

posted by Mr. Papagiorgio on Nov 8, 2012 - 3 answers

posted by Mr. Papagiorgio on Nov 8, 2012 - 3 answers

Can someone explain the 512 paths infographic to me? [more inside]

posted by ossian on Nov 5, 2012 - 10 answers

posted by ossian on Nov 5, 2012 - 10 answers

Statisticsfilter: Given available information about the distribution of self-selected 4-digit passwords (specifically banking PINs), is it possible to calculate the probability of two randomly selected individuals having the same PIN? If so, what're the odds? [more inside]

posted by myrrh on Oct 27, 2012 - 15 answers

posted by myrrh on Oct 27, 2012 - 15 answers

I'm looking to learn how to calculate probabilities for a multi-round dice game. I've researched this question some, and it looks like I might need to know how to use the multinomial distribution, but I can't find any good introductions. Please point me to the most layman-accessible educational material on this subject, and help me to help myself. [more inside]

posted by Richard Daly on Sep 28, 2012 - 6 answers

posted by Richard Daly on Sep 28, 2012 - 6 answers

How would one (legally) take advantage of the change in odds of a given NFL team to win the Super Bowl? [more inside]

posted by glenngulia on Sep 24, 2012 - 6 answers

posted by glenngulia on Sep 24, 2012 - 6 answers

Math/probability not sports: I am not a gambler, but I am trying out a method of betting on sports with some initial success. At what point can I use the numbers to confidently assume that this is down to the system rather than luck? [more inside]

posted by cincinnatus c on Sep 19, 2012 - 4 answers

posted by cincinnatus c on Sep 19, 2012 - 4 answers

I'm working through an explanation/derivation of the secretary problem that I've never seen before. I know the eventual answer, and I understand most of the steps, but explain this to me like I'm an idiot: [more inside]

posted by supercres on Sep 16, 2012 - 8 answers

posted by supercres on Sep 16, 2012 - 8 answers

Looking for an interesting blog post somewhere from a few months back about maximising your exposure to randomness or your probability of a good outcome. Think it was a geek post somewhere. [more inside]

posted by zaebiz on Sep 4, 2012 - 2 answers

posted by zaebiz on Sep 4, 2012 - 2 answers

Recommendations for great books about probability and risk. [more inside]

posted by inbetweener on Aug 17, 2012 - 18 answers

posted by inbetweener on Aug 17, 2012 - 18 answers

After tens of thousands of games of pool, every time I rack the balls I seem to switch about half of them around. I know I'm wasting time. So, I want to know exactly how many balls I should *normally* expect to swap (the median), and what is the most I should *ever have* to swap. For those of you who aren't pool nerds like me, I've explained the 8-ball racking process inside. [more inside]

posted by omnigut on Apr 4, 2012 - 19 answers

posted by omnigut on Apr 4, 2012 - 19 answers

What are the most mathematically 'advanced' RPG systems? Pen & paper and otherwise? [more inside]

posted by empath on Mar 14, 2012 - 24 answers

posted by empath on Mar 14, 2012 - 24 answers

Mathfilter. Bonus: involves football and beer [more inside]

posted by raider on Jan 12, 2012 - 22 answers

posted by raider on Jan 12, 2012 - 22 answers

Is there an equation for figuring out the average wait time for a book on hold at the library. Or how to figure out the average wait time I have left for a book I put on hold because I'm dying to read the rest of it. [more inside]

posted by gov_moonbeam on Oct 13, 2011 - 10 answers

posted by gov_moonbeam on Oct 13, 2011 - 10 answers

What is the maximum number of outs possible on the river in heads up Texas hold em? Assuming that out means a card which will take the player who is behind either level or ahead.

posted by therubettes on Oct 11, 2011 - 20 answers

posted by therubettes on Oct 11, 2011 - 20 answers

I'm struggling to understand the empirical content of probability theory. I understand the mathematical theory, and I understand how we get from empirical observations to a mathematical model. I do not understand how we get from the mathematical model back to the real world, e.g., what is the "empirical content" of a statement like "event *x* will occur with probability *p*"? [more inside]

posted by ochlophonic on Sep 8, 2011 - 23 answers

posted by ochlophonic on Sep 8, 2011 - 23 answers

How do I figure out what the size of this password's keyspace is? [more inside]

posted by vmrob on Aug 27, 2011 - 10 answers

posted by vmrob on Aug 27, 2011 - 10 answers

How do you improve your odds of winning at a drawing with multiple prizes? [more inside]

posted by trogdole on Aug 12, 2011 - 9 answers

posted by trogdole on Aug 12, 2011 - 9 answers

Can someone help with a probability question? [more inside]

posted by caroljean63 on Jun 25, 2011 - 22 answers

posted by caroljean63 on Jun 25, 2011 - 22 answers

I'm trying to rank some non-proper poker hands within the conventional poker hand-ranking framework. I would like to rank them conventionally, i.e. on their probability of occurring in a straight, five-card deal.
The non-proper hands are:
(1) "Four-card straight" (four cards in a row);
(2) "Four-card flush" (four cards of the same suit);
(3) "Four-card straight flush" (four cards in a row of the same suit);
(4) "Same-color flush" (all 5 red cards or all 5 black cards);
(5) "Straight same-color flush" (a straight composed of all black cards or all red cards);
(6) "Four-card straight same-color flush" (a four-card straight composed of all black cards or all red cards).
My probability skills are "OK" (the odds for the four-card flush and same-color flush are straightforward), but some of them (particularly the straights) seem too tricky for me. [more inside]

posted by mrgrimm on May 13, 2011 - 9 answers

posted by mrgrimm on May 13, 2011 - 9 answers

We have lost a cat. Ignoring obstacles like trees, roads and houses, I am assuming he has gone on a random walk. Me and my fiancée have been out every night since he left, also walking randomly, hoping to find him. But I know a random walk in two dimensions always returns to the origin eventually, so are we actually any better off searching for him than just staying at home? [more inside]

posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Feb 5, 2011 - 20 answers

posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Feb 5, 2011 - 20 answers

Please refresh my memory with regard to a straightforward question of fair dice and probability. [more inside]

posted by Justinian on Jan 20, 2011 - 14 answers

posted by Justinian on Jan 20, 2011 - 14 answers

Which probability distribution should I use to model examination results? [more inside]

posted by alby on Jan 13, 2011 - 13 answers

posted by alby on Jan 13, 2011 - 13 answers

Has there ever been any research done on whether there is any correlation between spurts of adding contacts to LinkedIn or LinkedIn activity and someone changing job? [more inside]

posted by MuffinMan on Jan 12, 2011 - 2 answers

posted by MuffinMan on Jan 12, 2011 - 2 answers

Is there a word for a "collection of possible future events that are all somehow related?" I want something that captures the idea of a "collection of scenarios." Or, pick an forecasted event, fear, or desire: What is "the spectrum of possible outcomes" relevant to this thing that has my attention, plausible or otherwise, expected or unexpected, the good, the bad, and the ugly? Probability cloud? Scenario collection? [more inside]

posted by zeek321 on Dec 27, 2010 - 20 answers

posted by zeek321 on Dec 27, 2010 - 20 answers

Probability filter: after eating the TD turkey we play the Turkey game which consists of tossing six dice. The six faces of each die are carved with the letters that spells turkey. Each combination of letters earn a different score (for example T U is 5 points, 3 Ts wipe all the points earned, etc.) with the first TURKEY being the winner. How many tosses would you need to spell TURKEY? [more inside]

posted by francesca too on Nov 29, 2010 - 15 answers

posted by francesca too on Nov 29, 2010 - 15 answers

Birth date + American school system = high probability of success in _____? [more inside]

posted by Señor Pantalones on Nov 23, 2010 - 8 answers

posted by Señor Pantalones on Nov 23, 2010 - 8 answers

Help me teach myself enough about probability to properly balance the board game I want to design. [more inside]

posted by Caduceus on Aug 9, 2010 - 3 answers

posted by Caduceus on Aug 9, 2010 - 3 answers

I'm scriptwriting an online interactive interview for a curriculum resource. There are ten questions, and students will be able to choose six of these to 'ask', and then see a video clip of each reply. Ideally, I want students to hear four strong answers and two weak ones. Based on this criterion, should I be using probabilty to work out how many of the ten answers should be weak or strong? If so, how? I think I need 6 or 7 strong answers just by applying the ratio.

posted by dowcrag on Jun 30, 2010 - 3 answers

posted by dowcrag on Jun 30, 2010 - 3 answers

How does one guess sports betting odds, or determine at what point to place a bet on a sporting event? [more inside]

posted by reenum on Apr 6, 2010 - 9 answers

posted by reenum on Apr 6, 2010 - 9 answers

What are some for media depictions of seeing briefly into the future, especially in terms of probability/what could have be? [more inside]

posted by Nelsormensch on Feb 4, 2010 - 11 answers

posted by Nelsormensch on Feb 4, 2010 - 11 answers

Hi everyone. Say I have a list of 50 items. I pick 10 of them. I put them back.
What is the probability that, the SECOND time I pick 10 items, I pick an item I already picked the first time?
How about the THIRD time, from the first or second?
How about the probability of picking 3 of the same item, or 5? Thanks!

posted by EduTek on Jan 22, 2010 - 17 answers

posted by EduTek on Jan 22, 2010 - 17 answers

Stats-filter: Given a binary matrix, if I know the total number of ones in a given row and a given column, can I calculate the probability that a given position contains a one? [more inside]

posted by chrisamiller on Dec 16, 2009 - 25 answers

posted by chrisamiller on Dec 16, 2009 - 25 answers

Can you help me figure out this math question related to probability? [more inside]

posted by jacquilynne on Dec 12, 2009 - 41 answers

posted by jacquilynne on Dec 12, 2009 - 41 answers

Actuarial / statistics geeks: a puzzle for you. [more inside]

posted by Meatbomb on Dec 8, 2009 - 18 answers

posted by Meatbomb on Dec 8, 2009 - 18 answers

Here's an obnoxious school question that's been nagging me for days:
*Suppose that the height (at the shoulder) of adult African bull bush elephants is normally distributed with µ = 3.3 meters and ∂ = .2 meter. The elephant on display at the Smithsonian Institute has a height 4 meters and is the largest elephant on record. What is the probability that an adult African bull bush elephant has height 4 meters or more?* [more inside]

posted by incomple on Dec 8, 2009 - 8 answers

posted by incomple on Dec 8, 2009 - 8 answers

I have an event that has a 75% chance of happening. If I run the trial seven times, what is the probability of the event happening at least once? And what's the math behind it?

posted by jackypaper on Nov 6, 2009 - 7 answers

posted by jackypaper on Nov 6, 2009 - 7 answers

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