# The Britannica Guide to Statistics and Probability (Math by Erik Gregersen

By Erik Gregersen

On the way to higher forecast the long run for earnings, and strive against the capability losses of uncertainty, various disciplines have come to depend upon the facility of information and likelihood. through looking at styles and repeated behaviors, mathematicians have devised calculations to seriously lessen human capability for blunders. This quantity introduces the old and mathematical foundation of information and likelihood in addition to their software to daily events. Readers also will meet the renowned thinkers who complex the sector and tested a numerical foundation for prediction.

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Extra info for The Britannica Guide to Statistics and Probability (Math Explained)

Sample text

Political Arithmetic In Europe, the late 17th century was an important time also for quantitative studies of disease, population, and wealth. In 1662 the English statistician John Graunt published a celebrated collection of numbers and observations pertaining to mortality in London, using records that had been collected to chart the advance and decline of the plague. In the 1680s the English political economist and statistician William Petty published a series of essays on a new science of “political arithmetic,” which combined statistical records with bold—some thought fanciful—calculations, 33 7 The Britannica Guide to Statistics and Probability 7 such as, for example, of the monetary value of all those living in Ireland.

Of these possible outcomes, the number that is favourable to obtaining i red balls and n − i black balls in any one particular order is The number of possible orders in which i red balls and n − i black balls can be drawn from the urn is the binomial coefficient where k! = k × (k − 1) ×⋯× 2 × 1 for positive integers k, and 0! = 1. Hence, the probability in question, which equals the number of favourable outcomes divided by the number of possible outcomes, is given by the binomial distribution where p = r/(r + b) and q = b/(r + b) = 1 − p.

Statisticians have a vital role as well. To them falls the task of studying the effects on society of legislative changes and of recommending measures that could bring about desired improvements. Quetelet’s arguments inspired a modest debate about the consistency of statistics with human free will. This 37 7 The Britannica Guide to Statistics and Probability 7 intensified after 1857, when the English historian Henry Thomas Buckle recited his favourite examples of statistical law to support an uncompromising determinism in his immensely successful History of Civilization in England.