CS 237 - Probability in Computing

Spring, 2014

Instructor and Lecture

Teaching Fellow and Lab Sections

Instructor:Wayne Snyder
      Email: snyder@cs.bu.edu
      Office: MCS 147
      Office Hours: M 4-6, W 1-3

      Cell Phone: 617-966-(10^2+41) (email vastly preferred)

Piazza Link

Teaching Fellow: Aanchal Malhotra
      Email: aanchal4@bu.edu

     Office: MCS 135A
      Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:15 - 4:15pm

Discussion Sections:
     A2: M 1-2 in MCS B19       A3: M 3-4 in MCS B19


  • Last Homework: HW18.html
  • Grades up to now: PDF
  • Reading on Markov Chains: PDF
    Final Project Writeup: HTML
  • Final Project Examples: HTML
  • There will be no more labs this term: I and Aanchall will have office hours to help you with your final project.



Useful Links

Lecture Topic
Readings, from Weiss unless otherwise noted
Practice Problems (from Schauam's Probability), Notes & Misc.
W 1/15 No class!        
1 F 1/17 Administrative matters; Goals of the course; Motivating Example: The Monty Hall Problem

Chapter One from "The Drunkard's Walk": PDF ;

The Monty Hall Problem (from the movie "21")

  M 1/20 Holiday -- Classes suspended        
2 W 1/22 The Monty Hall Problem concluded; Two interpretations of the notion of probability. Percentages and probabilities; Set theory (Venn Diagrams) as a model for Sample Spaces and Events. Chapter 1 (all): PDF



3 F 1/24 Fundamental mathematical definitions of probability theory; axiomatic proofs.

Chapter 2: PDF

Read 2.1, 2.2, and 2.4. We will ignore anything having to do with infinite sample spaces for the present.



4 M 1/27 We went over hw03 in some detail.  



Lab 01: HTML Check out the "true" random number generator from Random.org: http://www.random.org/ (uses atmospheric noise)
5 W 1/29 Partitions; the Addition Rule; the Inclusion/Exclusion Principle We will finish chapter 2.4. (lab 01 due at 11am)   Last day to ADD a course
6 F 1/31 Counting Principles: the Multiplication Rule, the tree method, and non-equiprobable sample spaces. 3.1



7 M 2/3 Counting Principles 3.2



Lab 02: HTML  
8 W 2/5 Counting Principles 3.3 (lab 02 due at 11am)    
9 F 2/7 Counting Principles 4.1 hw06.solution    
10 M 2/10 Conditional Probability 4.1 hw07.solution.html Lab 03: HTML
11 W 2/12 Independence   (lab 03 due at 11am)    
12 F 2/14 Law of Total Probability and Bayes' Rule   hw08.solution.html   Quiz02.Solution.pdf
  M 2/17 Holiday -- Classes suspended        
13 W 2/19 Discrete Random variables, Distributions, PMFs   hw09.solution.html  

Monday Schedule of Classes; Thursday 2/20 is last day to DROP a class w.o. a "W"

14 F 2/21 Bernoulli Trials, Binomial Distribution, CDFs.        
15 M 2/24 Binomial Distribution   hw10.solution.html Lab 04: HTML  
  W 2/26 Poisson Distribution        
16 F 2/28 Geometric Distribution   hw11.solution.html   Quiz03.Solution.pdf
17 M 3/3 Expected Value of a RV   hw12.solution.html Lab 05: HTML  
18 W 3/5 Midterm   Midterm Solution: PDF    
19 F 3/7 Expected Value of a RV; Variance      
  3/8 - 3/16 SPRING BREAK!        
20 M 3/17 Variance and Standard Deviation        
  W 3/19 Variance and Standard Deviation  



21 F 3/21 Joint Random Variables   hw14.solution.html    
22 M 3/24 Joint Distributions; Covariance, Correlation   hw15.solution.html

Lab 06: HTML


A nice explanation of Covariance and Correlation: PDF; just for fun: Chocolate and the Nobel Prize
23 W 3/26 Covariance, Correlation;Regression and Curve Fitting        
24 F 3/28 Continuous Random Variables    


Last day to DROP a class with a "W".


25 M 3/31 Normal Distribution     Lab 07: HTML Quiz 04 Solution: PDF
26 W 4/2 Applications of the Normal Distribution   hw16.solution.html    
27 F 4/4 Approximating the Binomial by the Normal Distribution        
28 M 4/7 Conclusions on Normal Distribution: Central Limit Theorem, Law of Large Numbers   hw17.solution.html Lab 08: HTML  
29 W 4/9 Poisson Distribution Redux: Exponential distribution of interarrival times; Poisson Processes        
30 F 4/11 Poisson Processes        
31 M 4/14 Queueing Theory     Lab 09: HTML FInal Quiz Solution: PDF
32 W 4/16 Simulation: Queueing Theory;        
33 F 4/18 Discrete Event Simulation; Presentation of final project        
  M 4/21 Holiday -- Classes suspended.        
34 W 4/23 Markov Models        
35 R 4/24 Markov Models     No lab: Work on Final Project Monday schedule of classes
36 F 4/25 Markov Models        
37 M 4/28 Looking forward: Applications of Probability Theory in Computer Science   HW18.solution.html No Lab: Work on Final Project  
38 W 4/30 Conclusions and course evaluation       Final Project Due W 4/30 at midnight
  R 5/8 Final Exam: 12:30-2:30pm