Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Random Variable

I am one.

A thought from my Discrete Math text:

“The term random variable is, perhaps, one of the greatest misnomers in all of mathematics: A random variable is neither random nor variable! It is a function defined on a sample space. Random variables are used to model quantities whose value is random.”

Don’t you feel enlightened today? I knew that you would. You see that thought just made my day. Well, not really, but I can pretend can’t I? Yes, pretending is what we do in discrete math. I am still subscribing to the “fake it till you make it” model. This class is seriously one of the greatest academic challenges I have faced yet in this experience we call college. What makes random variables even more entertaining is that I can almost understand them. If I were to be a professional gambler, some of this discrete probability theory stuff would be wonderfully interesting, as half of the problems that we are working in class have to do with dice and cards. Maybe they do it this way to teach students how terrible your chances really are when engaging in a game of poker or craps.

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