17 thoughts on “And Now Some Maths, Because We Love the Maths!

      1. Hope you can 'splain that to me. It would make sense if we had 100 elections and Hillz won 67% of them, but that can't be, obvs.

        1. The explanation of that is probably outside the scope of a comment on this page, but as an example of a counterintuitive outcome that can be proven rigorously by probability theory- if you have a 50/50 chance of a boy or a girl and have 4 kids, what's the most likely outcome? 3 of one sex and 1 of the other.

          If Hillz has a 67% chance of winning, get a 12 sided die (dodecahedron) and roll it once. If it lands on anything other than 1-4, she wins. Single event. If you did it fifty million times, you'd expect her to win 67% of the time.

          If you flip a fair coin 99 times and get 99 heads, what's the odds the 100th flip will be heads? 50/50. Probability only speaks to stuff in the future.

          An electron in a pz orbital has zero probability of being found in the xy plane. You will _never_ find it in the xy plane. How does it get from one side to the other? This is in fact a trick question. If you know the electron's location, the wavefunction has collapsed- the wave function only applies to future events or observations.

          Probability theory is way cool, and I had the BEST teacher in my life for a class on it. RIP, Mr. Schnure.

          1. Your first example illustrates that you need to ask the question precisely. 2G/2B is more likely than either 3G/1B or 1G/3B, but 2/2 is less likely than 3/1. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go tell Monty Hall to open door 3 so we can find out if Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead or alive.

    1. Paddypower is currently offering 4/11 on Clinton, 11/5 on Trump. Bookies make their living out of having a better idea of the probability of a one-off event than the average punter.

      1. You know, that's a better way to look at the outcomes than speaking about this event. These so-called "probabilities" are more akin to where a bookie would set his odds to make the most money from those who bet on Hillz or tRump.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *