Approximating Probabilities

  • Hugh Gordon
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics book series (UTM)


Sometimes an approximation is more valuable than an exact answer. For example, consider the following question: A certain association has 4000 members; 2000 of them are men and 2000 are women. Exactly half the members will be randomly chosen to each receive one ticket to a special event; all members have the same chance of getting a ticket. What is the probability that exactly 1000 men and exactly 1000 women get tickets? The answer to the question is quite obviously
$$ \frac{{{{\left( {\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {2000} \\ {1000} \end{array}} \right)}^2}}}{{\left( {\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {4000} \\ {2000} \end{array}} \right)}} $$


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsSUNY at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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