level 3

As of the 23rd May 2022 this website is archived and will receive no further updates.

was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

Many of the animations were produced using Flash and will no longer work.

Press / Other scientists & discussion

Laplace's law of succession

Suppose that every time there is an opportunity for an event to happen, then it occurs with unknown probability [math]p[/math]. Laplace's law of succession states that, if before we observed any events we thought all values of [math]p [/math] were equally likely, then after observing [math]r[/math] events out of [math]n[/math] opportunities a good estimate of [math]p[/math] is [math]\hat{p} = (r+1)/(n+2)[/math].

Life expectancy

getting life expectancy from life tables.

Maths of coincidence

In What are the chances? we saw how the chance of a rare event occurring could be calculated for specific problems.

Will it be a rollover?

Suppose there are $aN$ lottery tickets sold, each with a chance $1/N$ of winning.

N People Picking

In Pick a Number - Level 2 we calculated the probability of a group of 20 people all picking different numbers between 1 and 100. Here we derive a general algebraic approximation.

May the best team win

Luck or skill? suggested using the average number of points per match as an estimate of an underlying quality measure, leading to confidence intervals and uncertainties about ranks. Here we discuss a simple mathematical model that gave rise to those results.

Is the Lottery biased?

Chi Squared ScatterIn Lottery Expectations we looked at the observed and theoretical distributions for the total count of times each number has come up, and the gap between a number's appearances. Here we explain the mathematics behind the theoretical distribution of counts, and how to check for true randomness, and derive the theoretical distribution for gaps.

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