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Counting Successes: A General Simulation Model

  • Richard L. Scheaffer
  • Ann Watkins
  • Mrudulla Gnanadesikan
  • Jeffrey A. Witmer
Part of the Textbooks in mathematical sciences book series (TIMS)

Abstract

A basketball player goes to the free-throw line 10 times in a game and makes all 10 shots. A student guesses all the answers on a 20-question true—false test and gets 18 of them wrong. Twelve persons are selected for a jury, and 10 of the 12 are female. Unusual? Some would say that the chances of these events happening are very small. But, as we have seen, calculating the probabilities to evaluate the chances of these events requires some careful thought about a model. The three scenarios outlined above all have certain common traits. They all involve the repetition of the same event over and over. They all have as a goal counting the number of “successes” in a fixed number of repetitions. This activity discusses how to construct a simulation model for events of this type so that we can approximate their probabilities and decide for ourselves whether or not the events are unusual.

Keywords

Correct Answer Soft Drink Convenience Store Basketball Player Careful Thought 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Scheaffer
    • 1
  • Ann Watkins
    • 2
  • Mrudulla Gnanadesikan
    • 3
  • Jeffrey A. Witmer
    • 4
  1. 1.University of FloridaUSA
  2. 2.California State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  3. 3.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Oberlin CollegeUSA

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