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Where can I find resources to learn about distributions.

  1. Apr 6, 2013 #1
    I'm currently studying for my second year engineering exams, and I'm struggling with distributions.
    Unfortunately I missed most of the statistics lectures in my math course (something I massively regret now) and the lecture slides aren't annotated enough to give me any clue what is happening.
    Usually I can use khan academy to learn the maths I need, and then I just complete past exam papers to ensure I've learnt everything I need.
    The problem is I do not think Khan academy has uploaded videos on all the types of distributions.

    In my class it seems to have been taught like this:

    1)A lecture on Gaussian distribution
    2)A lecture on Binomial distribution
    3)A lecture on poisson distribution

    Khan academy only has videos on binomial distributions. Another problem is I think these distributions are called different things in different places. I think Gaussian distributions are sometimes called normal distributions.

    Anyway, I did not study A level statistics (My college decided to teach "decision maths" instead), so I am already behind most of my class. It would really help if someone could point me towards some resources where I can teach these subject to myself.

    Also, if you could explain any basics that I need to know about these three distributions that would be great.

    I think the things I need to know are
    .What a distribution is
    .Why there are 3 different kinds
    .When to use each one
    .The equation to calculate each one
    .How each one is derived
    .skew distributions
    .standard deviation

    Obviously this is too much to be taught in a forum, but pointers would be greatly appreciated.
    I currently do not know anything about any of these things.

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2013 #2


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    There are more than 3 probability distributions. The 3 you listed are among the more commonly used ones.

    Here is one online tutorial:


    There are many others.
  4. Apr 7, 2013 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Have you tried Schaum's Prob and Stats?
  5. Apr 8, 2013 #4
    Hi Bacle, I only had 3 (1 hour) lectures this year on statistics, so I think that buying a book on it will be unnecessary. I don't want to spend too much time on such a small part of the course when there's a lot more I need to be studying.
    That being said though I would still like to understand what we have covered. I've started following the stattrek tutorials given by SteamKing, but they quite slow paced, and include a lot of stuff that I do not need to know.
    The 3 lectures I had where:

    Gaussian (normal) Distributions
    Binomial Distributions
    Poisson Distributions

    In the last lecture something was mentioned about one two of these distributions being a specific case of the other more general distribution.

    Can I just ask. What is a distribution, what is the difference between these 3, and how do you calculate these 3?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
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