Probability and Chance

Ross Gosky
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 11:00-11:50 am
Course Number: 

The field of probability has its origins in games of chance.  A famous mathematician, Blaise Pascal, was consulted by a French nobleman Chevalier de Mere to help determine a strategy for a dice game.  Since then, probability has become an important branch of mathematics, and the foundation of modern statistical analysis.  Its ideas have far-reaching impact, from political polling to informing FDA decisions on pharmaceutical drug approval.  Interestingly, human minds have difficulty truly grasping probability.  Viewing the world with a probabilistic lens can be counter-intuitive and difficult on occasion.  In this course, we explore the role that randomness plays in decision making across a variety of contexts, including its necessary involvement in scientific research.  We also demonstrate the difficult time our minds have behaving in a truly random fashion.  We will then discuss implications of this in how decisions are made.  The course goal is to pursue both the merits of probabilistic thinking and potential pitfalls that arise from our difficulties in its comprehension.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

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