A-level Mathematics/MEI/S1/Discrete Random Variables

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Discrete Random Variables[edit]

Discrete random variables are the models for the probabilities of particular results. They are represented by the notation, P(X = R) (Where P is the probability of the Discrete Random Variable, X , taking on the result, R.). A discrete random variable can only take on the values r1,r2,r3...rn with the probabilities p1, p2, p3...pn respectively. Discrete random variables allow us to produce a Discrete Frequency Distribution. Discrete meaning that the value of the results can only take on positive whole integers. In S1, Discrete distributions are limited to a finite number of outcomes.

Exemplar Question[edit]

Questions often involve working with algebra in order to find the probabilities, in OCR(MEI), you will often have to work out the value of k in order to work out the probabilities.

The probability distribution of a discrete random variable, X, is given by

P(X = R) = \frac {kr}{8} R = 2, 4 ,6 ,8.  

Find the value of k and tabulate the probability distribution.

To find the value of k, we need to tabulate our probabilities and substitute the values of R into the discrete random variable, X.

    R || 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 ||
p(x=R)|| \frac {k2}{8}