Probability and Random Variables: A Beginner's Guide 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0521644457
ISBN-10: 0521644453
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In a very fine, appealing, and self-contained book with a wealth of illustrative examples, Stirzaker...superbly and informally presents with great clarity and accuracy various difficult concepts and techniques without invoking the rigor of mathematics...An excellent book, highly recommended." Choice

"I would not hesitate to recommend it for independent study to a colleague in mathematics or one of the natural or social sciences (assuming a working knowledge of calculus). I think the text would also work well in an independent study course with a bright, highly motivated, well-prepared undergraduate student." The American Statistician

Book Description

This concise introduction to probability theory is written in an informal tutorial style with concepts and techniques defined and developed as necessary. Examples, demonstrations, and exercises are used to explore ways in which probability is motivated by, and applied to, real life problems in science, medicine, gaming and other subjects of interest. It assumes minimal prior technical knowledge and is suitable for students taking introductory courses, those needing a working knowledge of probability theory and anyone interested in this endlessly fascinating and entertaining subject.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521644453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521644457
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,930,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Griffin on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have had no formal class in statistics or probability, so I bought this book in the hope that it would help me with an intro to bioinformatics class I am taking. It assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, just some basic algebra. The first chapter doesn't even get into much math, it explains (in English) what probability is.
There are worked problems throughout each section to aid with understanding the current concept; there are also study questions at the end of each section (answers are in the back.)
I have been very impressed with this book. It gives a good explanation of concepts, clear examples, and useful study questions. Even the paper and binding are high quality! I highly recommend it to anyone new to, or wishing to brush up on, probability.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rachael on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm using this book for a graduate course in probability for political science, and I have been very disappointed with it. The main problem is that it skips steps involved in problems and then tells you that "obviously" or "clearly" or "intuitively" the solution to the problem follows. For example, my professor has had to distribute his own detailed explanations of sample problems in the book, which have been much clearer (and longer) than what the book offers. If math is not intuitive for you or your quantitative skills are rusty, this book does not give you the kind of step-by-step guidance you'll need.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Casey V. Roberts on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book for a engineering probabilities class. The prof. was one of those less than helpful types who tossed out a lecture and then let the class sink or swim. If that hadn't been the case maybe I would have rated the book higher, but since I was pretty much using this as my sole source of learning it was not helpful at all.

It's written in more of a conversational tone; which isn't always a bad thing. However the equations shown and the dervations the author goes through are not well documented neither are they intuitive to follow. Does every math book need to be easy and intuitive? No, they don't. But if they bill themselves as a "beginner's guide" then they probably should.

(A friend in the class told me to pick up the Idiot's Guide to Probablity and we used that as our textbook instead. We we're the only two to get A's in that class)
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By james yoon on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I must express how extremely happy I was when I started reading through this book and felt that I finally met a teacher who can teach statistics! This book gave me a well-rounded access to an area I had gotten sick of trying to search a proper introduction on. It helped me tremendously in really understanding the crucial fundamental concepts that are infact quite tricky, and therefore often reluctantly passed by many. With a straightforward and comfortable language along with all the appropriate maths... if it were not for this book, I personally would have probably never really understood statistics and perhaps would have just given up my interest for the subject for good.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By james yoon on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I must express how extremely happy I was when I started reading through this book and felt that I finally met a teacher who can teach statistics! This book gave me a well-rounded access to an area I had gotten sick of trying to search a proper introduction on. It helped me tremendously in really understanding the crucial fundamental concepts that are infact quite tricky, and therefore often reluctantly passed by many. With a straightforward and comfortable language along with all the appropriate maths... if it were not for this book, I personally would have probably never really understood statistics and perhaps would have just given up my interest for the subject for good.
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Probability and Random Variables: A Beginner's Guide
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