1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Simple probability question:

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1
    I just started a probability course and i'm not sure if i should use a combination or permutation for this question:

    How many ways are there that no two students will have the same birth date in a class size of 60?

    Should i do 365C60 or 365P60?

    Thanks so much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I would actually start from basics

    pick the first student, can choose from 365 unique bdays,
    the 2nd can choose from unique 364..
    the 60 can choose from unique 365-59

    so you get a total of

    which does this look most like?
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Then you should check what the question is exactly asking, can you assume the students are distinuigishable, which I think you can for this case
  5. Jan 11, 2012 #4
    Yeah I should have thought about the distinguishable factor. combinations dont care about any particular order so they can have repeats of cases....as far as what ive learned about them...whereas permutations only count specific outcomes once [making the outcomes distinguishable] and yes, i see now that ishould use a permutation

    i had written down
    which is a permutation but i dont think i was clearly thinking about the difference between permutation and combination so i was afraid i was missing a factor in the denominator. this sounds right! thanks so much for the clarification! : )

    by the way; next time ill write down what i have worked out so far in the original post.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  6. Jan 11, 2012 #5
    Don't forget that a few million people were born on Feb 29th....

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook