The Pennsylvania State University, Spring 2012

STAT/MATH 414, Section 002: Introduction to Probability Theory

This course introduces the fundamentals and axioms of probability theory. Topics covered include: combinatorial probability, the laws of probability, conditional probability and independence, Bayes' Theorem, random variables, expectation, Gambler's Ruin, Chebyshev's inequality, Laws of Large Numbers, and the Central Limit Theorem. Applications to a variety of fields will be explored.
Throughout the course, we will monitor the New York Times and Centre Daily Times newspapers for articles involving applications of probability. We sometimes will study the probabilistic information in such articles and relate them to the subject of the course and to everyday life and experiences.

Contact Information

  • Donald Richards, Instructor
    • Class Time: TR 9:45 - 11:00 a.m., 303 Willard Building
    • Office Hours: TR 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., or by appointment
    • Office: 311 Thomas Building
    • Phone: 865-3993
    • E-mail:

  • Yingxin Zhang, Teaching Assistant
    • Office Hours: By appointment
    • Office: 301 Thomas Building
    • Phone: 863-2314
    • E-mail: yiz5180(at)

Course Information