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High School - Probability and Statistics

A lot of things that happen every day are driven by probability. Heads or tails in a coin toss? It involves chance. Even something as serious as the stock market relies on some elements of chance. All of this is studied in a subject known as probability and statistics.

Probability is basically the study of chance and likelihood. How likely is it to rain tonight? What are the chances of getting a 12 when rolling two dice? How probable is it for a defective laptop to pass through quality control? These and other questions that involve random chance is the bread and butter of the field of probability.

In tandem with the study of probability is the field of statistics. Collectively, probability and statistics deal with things that may or may not happen based on random chance.

Statistics is actually a very practical branch of math. It is used a lot in both serious research and common everyday situations. A lot of news reports, for instance, make use of statistics to help convey information to people. Weather reports are one such thing. Most smartphone weather apps display a “chance of rain”, which is calculated with formulas from the field of statistics and probability.

Research studies also rely on a lot of probability and statistics to draw conclusions from collections of data. Numbers and figures that come from experiments are analyzed using methods from statistics, and the results of these analyses would either prove or disprove the claims being studied.

Even companies, whether big or small, rely on statistics to improve their products and services. They continuously measure rates of customer satisfaction, how many complaints are received, which products bring in lots of profits and which ones don’t, among many other things. Methods of statistical analysis are also applied in the business world, and companies who can take advantage of statistics usually outcompete those who don’t.