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Other How can I study probability ?

  1. Jun 15, 2016 #1
    I want to have a deep understanding of probability.

    I've tried William Feller's first book on Probability, and E.T Jaynes' Probability theory - the logic of science (which is very different from most probability books.)
    But, neither books could hold my interest for long. The first was too boring. The second was too tough to understand.

    Please suggest some strategies and books that can help me.

    As far as the level of my current knowledge goes, I know basic combinatorial probability, conditional probability, Bayesian probability, binomial, Poisson and Normal distribution. I only know how to apply the normal distribution, not how to derive it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2016 #2
    Personally, I used Walpole, Myers, Myers, & Ye 7th ed. to learn these topics. Newer editions are available pretty inexpensively, and it might be a decent introduction for you. It assumes the reader to have a good background in calculus, which is required for deriving and applying the normal distribution.

    Calculus is required to understand and apply most continuous probability distributions and applications, actually.

    Realistically, though, before you buy any more books, I encourage you to watch some online lectures, and start to do problems out of the books you have. When you run into difficulties, ask questions in the Homework and Coursework Questions sub-forum here.
  4. Jun 15, 2016 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. Jun 15, 2016 #4
    Free options on to check out before purchasing something,

    Matloff. From Algorithms to Z-Scores. http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/matloff/public_html/probstatbook.html
    Grinsted & Snell. Introduction to Probability. https://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/teaching_aids/books_articles/probability_book/amsbook.mac.pdf

    I haven't read these since I first studied the subject in school (course used Ross' First Course in Probability and another using Casella & Berger's Statistical Inference where the first half is probability). The first would be more interesting to a computer scientist such as myself. I'm thinking of reading portions of the book for review when I have the time. The second is more standard and I've seen recommended elsewhere.
  6. Jun 15, 2016 #5
    Can you tell me some ways to stay motivated ? The problem is I'm getting bored and losing interest very fast.
  7. Jun 15, 2016 #6
    Solve Problems. Discuss in groups. Teach someone what you learn.
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