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Probability Puzzles in R

Learn strategies for answering probability questions in R by solving a variety of probability puzzles.

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4 Hours13 Videos45 Exercises2,822 Learners3750 XP

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Course Description

Do you want to take your probability skills to the next level? This course will help get you there, using problem-based learning with probability puzzles as the framework. As you are guided through their solutions, you will gain coding tools and general strategies for solving probability problems that you might encounter in many other situations. Organized by theme, the course begins with classic problems like the Birthday Problem and Monty Hall, and ends with puzzles that involve poker like Texas Hold'em and the World Series of Poker!

  1. 1

    Introduction and Classic Puzzles


    This chapter will introduce some basic principles that will be used throughout the course, such as writing loops and functions. Then, we dive into a couple of classic problems: the Birthday Problem, and Monty Hall.

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    Introduction to the Course
    50 xp
    Writing a simple function
    100 xp
    Writing a simple for loop
    100 xp
    Setting a seed
    50 xp
    The Birthday Problem
    50 xp
    Simulation of a single n
    100 xp
    Using the pbirthday function
    100 xp
    Make a plot
    100 xp
    Monty Hall
    50 xp
    Win probability with "stick"
    100 xp
    Writing a function to "switch"
    100 xp
    Win probability with "switch"
    100 xp
  2. 2

    Games with Dice

    In this chapter, we explore games in which dice are rolled, including Yahtzee, Settlers of Catan, and Craps. You will learn tools such as using built-in R functions to calculate combinatorics, and using functions such as replicate and the %in% operator.

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  3. 3

    Inspired from the Web

    The puzzles in this chapter were inspired by ideas encountered on the internet. In order to solve them, you will learn to combine tools such as nested for loops, and the functions round, identical, and sapply.

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  4. 4


    This chapter explores questions in poker, including the most often televised version of Texas Hold'em. We will learn to code for win probabilities with any given number of outs, and also explore a more theoretical model of poker known as the von Neumann model. We will learn to use functions such as Reduce, runif, and ifelse.

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chesterChester Ismayamy-4121b590-cc52-442a-9779-03eb58089e08Amy Peterson


Intermediate RFoundations of Probability in R
Peter Chi Headshot

Peter Chi

Assistant Professor of Statistics, Villanova University

Peter Chi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Villanova University. His primary research focus is centered on statistical methodologies in phylogenetics and evolutionary biology. He completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington, and has previously held faculty positions at Ursinus College, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Find out more at his webpage, and follow him on Twitter @PeterBChi.
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