Clark University
                                        Math 217/Econ 360, Probability and Statistics
Fall 2014
Prof. D. Joyce, BP 322, 793-7421
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Clark University

Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827)
Portraint of Pierre Simon Laplace
click for source Portrait of Laplace at the Palace of Versailles
Date 1842, posthumous portrait by Sophie Feytaud

Please bookmark this page,, so you can readily access it.

Course information

Class notes, quizzes, tests, homework assignments

The dates for the discussion topics and the assignments are tentative. They will change as the course progresses.

    [to be filled in as the course progresses]

  1. Monday, Aug 25. Welcome and introduction to the class
    Intro to probability via discrete uniform probabilities. Symmetry. Frequency.
    Simulations and random walks

  2. Wednesday, Aug 27.
    Background on sets. Unions, intersections, complements, distributivity, DeMorgan's laws. Product, power sets. Countable and uncountable infinities.
    Combinatorics. Principle of inclusion and exclusion, multiplicative principle, permutations, factorials and Sterling's approximation
    Permutation generating applet
    Assignment 1 due next Wednesday.

  3. Friday, Aug 29. Binomial coefficients.
    Combinations, Pascal's triangle, multinomial coefficients, stars & bars, combinatorial proofs
    The BinomialPlot and GaltonBoard applets

    Monday, Sep 1. Labor Day. No classes

  4. Wednesday, Sep 3. Axioms for probability distributions.
    Probability mass mass functions for discrete distributions, density functions for continuous distributions. Cumulative distribution functions. Sample spaces, axioms, and properties that follow from the axioms.
    First assignment due.

  5. Friday, Sep 5. Uniform finite probabilities
    Odds. Repeated trials. Sampling with replacement. The birthday problem.
    The Birthday applet

  6. Monday, Sep 8. Conditional probability. Xox, definition of conditional probability, the multiplication rule

  7. Wednesday, Sep 10.

  8. Friday, Sep 12.

More notes Other information.

This page is located on the web at

David E. Joyce