Before a knockout tournament with 2^n players I pick two players.
What is the probability that they have to play against each other
at some point in the tournament?
Here are two games you have to pay to play. Which is the better bet?
Imagine flipping a coin a number of times. Can you work out the
probability you will get a head on at least one of the flips?
After transferring balls back and forth between two bags the
probability of selecting a green ball from bag 2 is 3/5. How many
green balls were in bag 2 at the outset?
Two bags contain different numbers of red and blue marbles. A marble is removed from one of the bags. The marble is blue. What is the probability that it was removed from bag A?
A man went to Monte Carlo to try and make his fortune. Whilst he
was there he had an opportunity to bet on the outcome of rolling
dice. He was offered the same odds for each of the. . . .
"Statins cut the risks of heart attacks and strokes by 40%"
Should the Professor take statins? Can you help him decide?
Newspapers said that eating a bacon sandwich every day raises the risk of bowel cancer by 20%. Should you be concerned?
This article, for students and teachers, is mainly about probability, the mathematical way of looking at random chance.
Some relationships are transitive, such as `if A>B and B>C
then it follows that A>C', but some are not. In a voting system,
if A beats B and B beats C should we expect A to beat C?
A gambler bets half the money in his pocket on the toss of a coin,
winning an equal amount for a head and losing his money if the
result is a tail. After 2n plays he has won exactly n times. Has. . . .
If everyone in your class picked a number from 1 to 225, do you
think any two people would pick the same number?
If the score is 8-8 do I have more chance of winning if the winner
is the first to reach 9 points or the first to reach 10 points?
Use this animation to experiment with lotteries. Choose how many
balls to match, how many are in the carousel, and how many draws to
make at once.
Can you devise a fair scoring system when dice land edge-up or corner-up?
A player has probability 0.4 of winning a single game. What is his
probability of winning a 'best of 15 games' tournament?
You have two bags, four red balls and four white balls. You must
put all the balls in the bags although you are allowed to have one
bag empty. How should you distribute the balls between the two. . . .
It is believed that weaker snooker players have a better chance of
winning matches over eleven frames (i.e. first to win 6 frames)
than they do over fifteen frames. Is this true?
Explore the distribution of molecular masses for various hydrocarbons
Four cards are shuffled and placed into two piles of two. Starting with the first pile of cards - turn a card over...
You win if all your cards end up in the trays before you run out of cards in. . . .
Investigate the molecular masses in this sequence of molecules and deduce which molecule has been analysed in the mass spectrometer.