Probability Distributions

  • Glenn Ledder
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics and Technology book series (SUMAT)


This first chapter on probability is narrowly focused on probability distributions. The initial section presents the basics of descriptive statistics using the data set that William Sealy Gosset (writing as “Student”) used in the classic 1906 paper that introduced the t test. The remainder of the chapter is based on the overall theme of probability distributions as models for large populations of data. Specific sections present the basic ideas of discrete and continuous distributions and a detailed look at the binomial, normal, Poisson, and exponential distributions. Many of the problems involve characterization of small data sets from published research, including R.A. Fisher’s well-known data for measurements of iris flowers and another data set used by Gosset. Several of these problems leave open questions that are addressed in Chapter 4.


Probability Density Function Cumulative Distribution Function Poisson Distribution Binomial Distribution Probability Distribution Function 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn Ledder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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