"I advise my students to listen carefully the moment they decide to take no more mathematics courses. They might be able to hear the sound of closing doors." -- (CAIP Quarterly 2 , Fall, 1989)

Math History Tidbit:

Maria Agnesi (1718-1799): Agnesi was born into a wealthy family. As a result she was able to receive an excellent private education at a time when educational opportunities for women were extremely limited. A mathematician and a linguist, she was fluent in Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and German. Her mathematical work Analytical Institutions (1748) covered mathematical topics ranging algebra and geometry to differential and integral calculus, and was used widely as a textbook. She held the position of mathematics chair at the University of Bologna and devoted much of her life to charitable works. Her name is associated with a curve known as the Witch of Agnesi . The curve looks nothing like a witch, but was so titled due to a mistranslation of a term used to describe cubic equations.


Herkimer's Corner

What is the name of Herkimer' Arabian friend who wrote volumes and volumes about round objects?

Answer: Sheik Sphere

Herky's friends:

CAL ANDER... this guy thinks his days are numbered.

KAY BULL ... this girl installs wiring, etc. for TV sets.


Reading: Review Chapter 6, as necessary.

Exercises: Test 6B (handout). Answers will be posted.

Items for reflection:

You are working with ideas and concepts fromChapter 6.

The laws of probability are, for the most part,common sense. Here is a simple example illustrating the law

Prob(A or B) = Prob(A) + Prob(B) - Prob(Aand B)

From the set {1,2} I randomly choose a number. I then randomly choose a second number from the set. (This is sampling with replacement.)

What is the probability that the sum of the two numbers is 4 or an even number?

Each of four (first number, second number) combinations is equally likely to occur. By observing the table at the right, we can see that the probability is 1/2.

Symbolically, if we let A = the event "the total is 4" and B = the event "the total is an even number," then we want Prob(A or B). In this case, Prob(A) = 1/4, Prob (B) = 1/2, and Prob (A and B) = 1/4. Using the formula, Prob (A or B) = 1/4 + 1/2 - 1/4 = 1/2.

First #

Second #

















The Practice of Statistics, by Yates, Moore, McCabe. New York,W.H. Freeman and Company, 1999. (ISBN 0-7167-3370-6)

Supplemental books:
The Cartoon Guide to Statistics, by Gonick and Smith. NewYork, HarperCollins Publishers, 1993. (ISBN 0-06-273102-5)
How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff. New York, W.W.Norton & Company, 1982 (ISBN 0-393-09426-X)

Back to the top of this page