Do You Know Your Probability?


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Probability theory is a relatively new mathematics branch. I say “relatively” because its study started in the sixteenth century, when people (e.g., Cardano, Fermat, Pascal) began analyzing games of chance and gambling. That’s old, but not even close to some other mathematics branches, like calculus (integral calculus was found in Egyptian papyrus dated 1820 BC!) or geometry.

Despite being a late bloomer, probability theory is a very important field today, with many applications in everyday life. Examples incluse insurance services, financial markets, medical sciences, computer sciences, artificial intelligence, and so on. For instance, when you use Google search or Facebook you are using it (i.e., there are algorithms in those services that rely on probability theory).

Even if you are not working in any of those fields I think you should know at least the basics of probability, as it can be useful in your everyday life.

For example, suppose a friend comes to you with the following bet: he will roll two dice, if the resulting sum is a number smaller than 8 you win and he will pay you $50, however if the sum is a equal to or greater than 8 you lose and you’ll need to pay him $50. Should you take the bet?

The answer is yes, cause you would have almost 60% chance of winning.

Want more practical applications? You could use it to optimize your landing pages, to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, of your guest posts and so on.

Now if you never studied probability and would like to learn the basics, of if you don’t remember it anymore but would like a refresher, check a post I wrote on my programming blog titled Introduction to Probability.

It’s quite long, but once you are done reading it you’ll know all the core probability principles.

Your wallet will thank me the next time you visit Las Vegas!

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5 Responses to “Do You Know Your Probability?”

  • Jason Brad

    Is it really probability we use in measuring clicks and other stuff? I’m not so sure.

  • floriefe may

    Oh! Thanks Daniel for this post! I mean it is very useful to everyone in the world of blogging.
    You have a good point on “probability theory is a very important field today, with many applications in everyday life”. True indeed that you have to think possibility that would come, so that when you anticipate things then you can be able to handle troubles and situation well.
    Nice post there Daniel.
    I found and “kingged” this on the Internet marketing social site

  • Widdershins

    On the other hand … the odds are always 50/50. You’ll either win, or you won’t!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Daniel,

    Going the statistics route can wake you up quite a bit. The seat of the pants approach is not quite as effective as playing numbers, or looking for odds.

    On the flip side absolutely nothing trumps your intuition. I like to find a nice mix between the 2; probably/logic and listening to my intuitive nudges.

    Thanks for sharing ;)…..and when are you going to provide a retweet button? My 25,000 followers would LOVE this stuff!


  • Cindy Buccieri

    Thanks for a great post! You can definitely use probably and metrics to achieve better results on your blog. Knowing what readers are looking for is extremely essential in growing your readership and giving the readers what they want.

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