The notion of probability, and consequently the mathemalical theory of probability, has in recent years become of interest to many scicntists and engineers. There has been an incrcasing awareness that not “Will it worlc?” but “What is the probability that it will work?” is the proper question to ask about an apparatus. Similarly, in investigating the posi- tion in space of certain objects, “What is the probability that the object is in a given región?” is a more appropriate question than “Is the object in the given región?” As a result, the feeling is becoming widespread that a basic course in probability theory should be a part of the undcr- graduate training of all scicntists, engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, and mathematics teachers.
A basic course in probability theory should serve two ends.
On the one hand, probability theory is a subject with great charm and intrinsic interest of its own, and an appreciation of the fact should be communicated to the student. Brief explanations of some of the ideas of probability theory are to be found scattered in many books writtcn about many diverse subjects.
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