[rc5] minor quibble with stats

Ronald Van Iwaarden rrt0136 at ibm.net
Wed Jun 25 18:23:22 EDT 1997


On Wed, 25 Jun 1997 18:00:14 -0500, Evan Jeffrey wrote:

>>On Wed, 25 Jun 97 15:04:47 , you wrote:
>>>	Just a minor error in the executive summary.  It says that 
>>>the "odds" of finding the key in the next 24hrs when it should be the 
>>>"Probability" of finding the key in the next 24hrs...
>>
>>>From what I can remember in school, it's the same thing, one minor 
difference.

Actually, the difference is not always minor...

>>Odds are defined as
>>Number_Of_Things_You_Want_To_Happen : 
Number_Of_Things_You_Don't_Want_To_Happen
snip
>>So odds of 1 in 425 is a probability of 1/426.

And odds of 3:1 are probability of 0.75...  Significantly different numbers.

>Perhaps, A) odds are typically represented as X to Y, whereas a percent
>should be probability, and B) probability sounds much more professional ;)

This was more my point (both A and B).  It may be true that the numbers given 
are correct as to odds.  However, I have found that many people use the works 
odds and probability as exact synonyms when they are not.  Perhaps it is just 
the mathematician in me but I prefer what is presented to be precise.

--Ron
      o           Ronald Van Iwaarden   | Work to live;
     /\           Hope College          | Live to bike;
   _`\ `_<===     Holland MI 49423      | Bike to work!
__(_)/_(_)___.-._ voice : (616)355-7120 | http://www.cs.hope.edu/~rvaniwaa/

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