Math 20: Discrete Probability

Last updated September 9, 2012

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Course Information




Course Information


Course Objectives

Basic concepts of probability are introduced in terms of finite probability spaces and stochastic processes having a finite number of outcomes on each experiment. The basic theory is first illustrated in terms of simple models such as coin tossing, random walks, and casino games. Also included are Markov chain models and their applications in the social and physical sciences. The computer will be used to suggest and motivate theoretical results and to study applications in some depth.





Introduction to Probability (2nd Edition)
by Charles M. Grinstead and J. Laurie Snell


An online version of the textbook is available (free-of-charge) here and a printed version is available at Wheelock Books.




The course grade will be computed as follows:


Percent of Final Grade

Midterm 1


Midterm 2






Problem Sessions



Honor Principle

You are allowed to work with other students on the homework problems, but you must write up your solutions independently and in your own words. You may consult other people or sources other than the course text, your class notes, and the instructor, but you must acknowledge these people and/or sources when you write up your homework. All exams are closed book, with no notes or calculators allowed. No help will be given or received.

Disabilities, Religious Observances, Etc.

Students with disabilities enrolled in this course and who may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see your instructor before the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Accessibility Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested.

Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that occur during this academic term. If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with your instructor before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.