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# Probability/Random Variables

Georgia Institute of Technology via edX Professional Certificate

### Overview

This certificate program consists of two mini-courses: (1) A Gentle Introduction to Probability; and (2) Random Variables â€“ Great Expectations to Bell Curves.

The first course provides an introduction to basic probability concepts. Our emphasis is on applications in science and engineering, with the goal of enhancing modeling and analysis skills for a variety of real-world problems.

In order to make the course completely self-contained (and to bring back long-lost memories), weâ€™ll start off with Bootcamp lessons to review concepts from set theory and calculus. Weâ€™ll then discuss the probability axioms that serve as the basis for all of our subsequent work â€“ what makes probability tick?

The next venues on our tour are the concepts of independence and conditional probability, which allow us to see how the probabilities of different events are related to each other, and how new information can be used to update probabilities. The course culminates in a discussion of Bayes Rule and its various interesting consequences related to probability updates.

The second course discusses properties and applications of random variables.

Weâ€™ll begin by introducing the concepts of discrete and continuous random variables. For instance, how many customers are likely to arrive in the next hour (discrete)? Whatâ€™s the probability that a lightbulb will last more than a year (continuous)?

Weâ€™ll learn about various properties of random variables such as the expected value, variance, and moment generating function. This will lead us to a discussion of functions of random variables. Such functions have many uses, including some wonderful applications in computer simulations.

If you enjoy random variables, then youâ€™ll really love joint (two-dimensional) random variables. Weâ€™ll provide methodology to extract marginal (one-dimensional) and conditional information from these big boys. This work will enable us to study the important concepts of independence and correlation.

Along the way, weâ€™ll start working with the R statistical package to do some of our calculations and analysis.

By the end of the course, you will have the technology to model and evaluate a variety of real-world systems in which randomness is present.

### Syllabus

Courses under this program:
Course 1: Probability and Statistics I: A Gentle Introduction to Probability

This course provides an introduction to basic probability concepts. Our emphasis is on applications in science and engineering, with the goal of enhancing modeling and analysis skills for a variety of real-world problems.

Course 2: Probability and Statistics II: Random Variables â€“ Great Expectations to Bell Curves

This course discusses properties and applications of random variables. For instance, how many customers are likely to arrive in the next hour? Whatâ€™s the probability that a lightbulb will last more than a year?

When youâ€™re done with this course, youâ€™ll have enough firepower to undertake a wide variety of modeling and analysis problems; and youâ€™ll be well-prepared for the upcoming Statistics courses.

David Goldsman

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