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Basic Probability

1. Give the probability for each of the following totals in the rolling of two dice: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10 &
11.
2. A committee of five persons is chosen at random from out of 12 accountants, 7 of whom are
males and 5 are females. What is the probability that the committee comprises of 2 males and 3
females?
3. A works manager has drafted a set of wage and benefits demands to be presented to management.
To get an idea of worker support for the package, he randomly polls the two largest groups of
workers at his plants, the machinists (M) and the inspectors (I). He polls 30 of each group with the
following results:
Opinion of the package
Strongly support
Mildly support
Undecided
Mildly oppose
Strongly oppose
Total

M
9
11
2
4
4
30

I
10
3
2
8
7
30

(a) What is the probability that a machinist randomly selected from the polled group mildly

supports the package?


(b) What is the probability that an inspector randomly selected from the polled group is

undecided about the package?


(c) What is the probability that a worker (machinist or inspector) randomly selected from the

polled group strongly or mildly supports the package?


(d) What types of probability estimates are these?

4. An inspector has the task of comparing the reliability of two pumping stations. Each station is
susceptible to two kinds of failures: pump failure and leakage. When either (or both) occurs, the
station must be shut down. The data at hand indicate that following probabilities prevail:
Station
1
2

P(Pump Failure)
0.07
0.09

P(Leakage)
0.10
0.12

P(Both)
0
0.06

Which station has the higher probability of being shut down?


5. What is the probability that in selecting two cards one at a time from a deck with replacement, the
second card is:
(a) A face card, given that the first card was red?
(b) An ace, given that the first card was a face card?
(c) A black jack, given that the first card was a red face?
6. A prison administrator has been reviewing the prison records on attempted escapes by inmates.
He has data covering the last 45 years that the prison has been open, arranged by seasons. The
data are summarized in the table:
Attempted Escapes
0
1-5
6-10

Winter
3
15
15

Spring
2
10
12

Summer
1
11
11

Fall
0
12
16

11-15
16-20
21-25
More than 25

5
3
2
2
45

8
4
4
5
45

7
6
5
4
45

7
5
3
2
45

(a) What is the probability that in a year selected at random, the number of escapes was between
16 and 20 during the winter?
(b) What is the probability that more than ten escapes were attempted during a randomly selected
summer season?
(c) What is the probability that between 11 and 20 escapes were attempted during a randomly
chosen season? (Hint: Group the data together)
7. According to a survey, the probability that a family owns two cars if its annual income is greater
than $ 35000 is 0.75. Of the households surveyed, 60 percent had incomes over $ 35000 and 52%
had two cars. What is the probability that a family has two cars and an income over $ 35000 a
year?
8.

A department store has been the target of many shoplifters during the past month, but owing to
increased security precautions, 250 shoplifters have been caught. Each shoplifters sex is noted;
also noted is whether the perpetrator was a first time or a repeat offender. The data are
summarized in the table:
Sex
Male
Female

First time
offender
60
44
104

Repeat
offender
70
76
146

Assuming that an apprehended shoplifter is chosen at random, find


(a) The probability that the shoplifter is male.
(b) The probability that the shoplifter is a first time offender, given that the shoplifter is a male.
(c) The probability that the shoplifter is female, given that the shoplifter is a repeat offender.
(d) The probability that the shoplifter is female, given that the shoplifter is a first time offender.
(e) The probability that the shoplifter is both male and a repeat offender.
9. Given: The probabilities of three events, A, B and C, occurring are P(A) = 0.35, P(B) = 0.45 and
P(C) = 0.2. Assuming that A, B or C has occurred, the probabilities of another event X occurring
are
P( X A) 0.8 , P( X B) 0.65 and P( X C) 0.3 . Find P( A X) , P( B X) and
P(C X) .
10. A doctor has decided to prescribe two new drugs to 200 heart patients as follows: 50 get drug A,
50 get drug B and 100 get both. The 200 patients were chosen so that each had an 80% chance of
having a heart attack if given neither drug. Drug A reduces the probability of a heart attack by
35%, drug B reduces the probability by 20% and the two drugs when taken together, work
independently. If a randomly selected patient in the program has a heart attack, what is the
probability that the patient was given both the drugs?
11. Classify the following probability estimates as classical, relative frequency or subjective:
(a) The probability that Germany will win the World Series this year is 0.175.
(b) The probability tuition will increase next year is 0.95
(c) The probability that you will win the lottery is 0.00062
(d) The probability a randomly selected flight will arrive on time is 0.875

(e) The probability of tossing a coin twice and observing two heads is 0.25
(f) The probability that your two wheeler will start on a very cold day is 0.97
12. Using this Venn diagram give the probabilities indicated:
Total Outcomes = 100

30

C
P(A) =

P(B) =

P(A or B) =
P(A or C) =
(We need to fill up the Venn Diagram)

P(C) =
P(B but not A or C) =

13. The HAL Corporation wishes to improve the resistance of its personal computer to disk drive and
keyboard failures. At present the design of the computer is such that disk drive failure occurs only
one third as often as keyboard failures. The probability of simultaneous disk drive and keyboard
failure is 0.05.
(a) If the computer is 80% resistant of disk drive and/or key board failure, how low must the disk
drive failure probability be?
(b) If the key board is improved so that it fails only twice as often as the disk drive (and the
simultaneous failure probability be still 0.05), will the disk drive probability from part (a)
yield a resistance to disk drive and or keyboard failure higher or lower than 90%?
14. What is the probability that a couples second child will be
(a) A boy given that their first child was a girl?
(b) A girl given that their first child was a girl?
15. A bag contains 32 marbles; 4 are red, 9 are black, 12 are blue, 6 are yellow and 1 is purple.
Marbles are drawn one at a time with replacement. What is the probability that
(a) The second marble is yellow given that the first one was yellow?
(b) The second marble is yellow given that the first one was black?
(c) The third marble is purple given both the first and second was purple?
16. The health department routinely conducts two independent inspections of each restaurant, with
the restaurant passing only if both inspectors pass it. Inspector A is very experienced, and hence
passes only 2 percent of restaurants that actually do have health code violations. Inspector B is
less experienced and passes 7% of restaurants with violations. What is the probability that
(a) Inspector A passes a restaurant given that inspector B has found a violation?

(b) Inspector B passes a restaurant with a violation given that inspector A passes it?
(c) What is the probability that a restaurant is passed by both?
17. Ramesh is preparing a report that his employer will eventually deliver to its client. The must be
approved by group leader, Department head and division chief in that order. Ramesh knows from
experience that three managers work independently. Further he knows that his group leader
approves 85 percent of his reports. His department head approves 80% of his reports and his
division head approves 82% of Rameshs report.
(a) What is the probability that the first version of Rameshs report is submitted to the client?
(b) What is the probability that the first version of Rameshs report is approved by his group
leader and department head but not by his division chief?
18. A top advertising executive just got four billboards installed outside town on the highway. He has
also collected following data:
The probability that the first billboard being noticed is 0.75
The probability that the second billboard being noticed is 0.82
The probability that the third billboard being noticed is 0.87
The probability that the fourth billboard being noticed is 0.9
Assuming that the event that a motorist notices any particular billboard is independent of whether
or not he notices the others, what is the probability that
(a) All four billboards will be noticed by a randomly selected motorist?
(b) The first and fourth, but not the second and third billboards will be noticed?
(c) Exactly one of the billboards will be noticed?
(d) None of the billboards will be noticed?
(e) The third billboards will not be noticed?
19. Given that P(A) = 3/14, P(B) = 1/6, P(C) = 1/3, P(AC) = 1/7 and
probabilities : P( A C) , P( C A) , P(BC) and P(C B) .

P( B C)

= 5/21, find the

20. At a soup kitchen, a social worker gathers the following data. Of those visiting the kitchen, 59
percent are men, 32 percent are alcoholics, and 21 percent are male alcoholics. What is the
probability that a random male visitor to the kitchen is an alcoholic?
21. If a hurricane forms in the eastern half of the Bay of Bengal, there is 76% chance that it will strike
the western coast of India. From data gathered over past fifty years, it has been determined that
probability of a hurricanes occurrence in the area in any given year is 0.85.
(a) What is the probability that a hurricane will occur in the eastern of Bay of Bengal and strike
western coast of India this year?
(b) If a hurricane in the eastern half of Bay of Bengal is seeded (induced to rain by addition of
chemicals from aircraft), its probability of striking western coast of India is reduced by onefourth. If it is decided to seed any hurricane in the eastern half of Bay of Bengal, what is the
new value for the probability in part (a)?
22. A company is considering upgrading its computer system, and a major portion of upgrade is a
new operating system. The company has asked an engineer for evaluation of the operating system.
Suppose the probability of a favourable evaluation is 0.65. If the probability that the company will
upgrade its system given a favourable evaluation is 0.85, what is the probability that the company
will upgrade and receive a favourable evaluation?
23. The General Manager (Operations) of a private parcel delivery firm is worried about the
likelihood of strikes by some of his employees. He has learned that the probability of a strike by
his pilots is 0.75 and the probability of a strike by his drivers is 0.65. Further, he knows that if the
drivers strike, there is a 90 percent chance that the pilots will strike in sympathy.
(a) What is the probability of both groups striking?

(b) If the pilots strike, what is the probability that the drivers will strike in sympathy?
24. It has been found that the probabilities for persons of ages 65, 70, 75 and 85 to survive another
year are 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 and 0.1 respectively. Obtain the probability that out of 4 persons aged 65, 70,
75, 85 exactly 3 will remain alive one year hereafter.
25. In the course of an experiment with a particular brand of DDT on flies, it is found that 80% are
killed in the initial application. Those which survive develop a resistance, so that the percentage
of survivors killed in any later application is half that of the preceding application. Thus 40% of
the survivors of the first application would succumb to the second, 20% of the survivors the first
two applications would succumb to the third, and so on. Find the probability
(1) That a fly will survive four applications.
(2) That it will survive four applications, given that it has survived the first one.
26. A sample of 500 respondents was selected in large metropolitan area to determine various
information concerning consumer behaviours. Among the questions asked was Do you enjoy
shopping for clothing? Of 240 males, 136 answered yes. Of 260 females, 224 answered yes.
(a) Set up a 2x2 table to evaluate the probabilities.
(b) What is the complement of enjoy shopping for clothing?
What is the probability that a respondent chosen at random
(c) Is a male?
(d) Enjoys shopping for clothing?
(e) Is a female and enjoys shopping for clothing?
(f) Is a male and does not enjoy shopping for clothing?
(g) Is a male or female?
(h) Suppose the respondent chosen is a female. What, then, is the probability that she does not
enjoy shopping for clothing?
(i) Suppose the respondent chosen enjoys shopping for clothing. What, then, is the probability
that the individual is a male?
(j) Are enjoying shopping for clothing and the gender of the individual statistically independent?
Explain.
27. A box of nine golf gloves contains two left handed gloves & seven right handed gloves.
(a) If two gloves are randomly selected from the box without replacement, what is the probability
that
(1) Both gloves selected will be right handed?
(2) There will be one right handed & one left handed glove selected?
(b) If three gloves are selected, what is the probability that all three will be left handed?
(c) If we were sampling with replacement, what would be the answers to (a) (1) & (b)?
28. If P(B) = 0.05, P(A B) = 0.80, P(B) =0.95 and P(A B) = 0.40, find P(B A).
29. In the past several years, credit card companies have made an aggressive effort to solicit new
accounts from college students. Suppose that a sample of 200 students at your college indicated
the following information as to whether the student possessed a bank credit card and/or a travel
and entertainment credit card.

Bank Credit Card


Yes
No

Travel & Entertainment


Credit card
Yes
No
60
60
15
65

(a) Assume we know that the student has a bank credit card. What then is the probability that he
or she has a travel and entertainment card?
(b) Assume that we know that the student does not have a travel & entertainment card. What then
is the probability that he or she has a bank credit card?
(c) Are the two events, having a bank credit card and having a travel & entertainment card,
statistically independent? Explain.
53. Last year, at Northern Manufacturing Company, 200 people had colds during the year. One
hundred fifty-five people who did no exercise had colds, while the remainder of the people with
colds were involved in a weekly exercise program. Half of the 1000 employees were involved in
some type of exercise.
(a) What is the probability that an employee will have a cold next year?
(b) Given that an employee is involved in an exercise program, what is the probability that he or
she will get a cold?
(c) What is the probability that an employee who is not involved in an exercise program will get
a cold next year?
Bayes Theorem
54. Given: The probabilities of three events, A, B, and C, occurring are P(A) = 0.35, P(B) = 0.45 and
P(C) =0.2. Assuming that A, B, or C has occurred, the probabilities of another event X occurring
are P(X A) = 0.80, P(X B) = 0.65 and P(X C) = 0.30. Find P(A X), P(B X) and P(C X).
55. Suresh Mathur , Credit Manager for of large firm knows that the company uses three methods to
encourage collection of delinquent accounts. From past collection records, he learns that 70
percent of accounts are called on personally, 20% are phoned and 10% are sent a letter. The
probabilities of collecting an overdue account with the three methods are 0.75, 0.60 and 0.65
respectively. Mr. Mathur has just received a payment from a past due account. What is the
probability that this account
(a) Was called on personally?
(b) Received a phone call?
(c) Received a letter?
56. Your company is planning a picnic. The only thing that will cancel the picnic is a thunderstorm.
The weather service has predicted dry conditions with probability 0.2, moist conditions with a
probability 0.45, and wet condition with probability 0.35. If the probability of thunderstorm given
dry conditions is 0.3, given moist condition is 0.6 and given wet conditions is 0.8, what is the
probability of thunderstorm? If we know that the picnic was indeed canceled, what is the
probability that moist conditions were in effect?
57. A physical therapist at an institute knows that the football team will play 40 percent of its games
on artificial turf this season. He also knows that a football players chances of incurring a knee
injury are fifty percent higher if he is playing on artificial turf instead of grass. If a players
probability of knee injury on artificial turf is 0.42, what is the probability that
(a) A randomly selected football player incurs a knee injury?
(b) A randomly selected football player with a knee injury incurred the injury playing on grass?
58. A state democratic official has decided that changes in the state employment rate will have a
major effect on her partys chance of gaining or losing seats in the state senate. She has
determined that if unemployment rises by 2% or more, the respective probabilities of losing more
than ten seats, losing 6 to 10 seats, gaining or losing five or fewer seats, gaining 6 to 10 seats, and
gaining more than ten seats are 0.25, 0.35, 0.15, 0.15, and 0.10 respectively. If unemployment fall
by 2% or more, the respective probabilities are 0.05, 0.10, 0.10, 0.40, and 0.35. Currently this
official believes that unemployment will rise by 2% or more with a probability 0.25, change by
less than 2% with a probability 0.45, and will fall by 2% or more with a probability 0.30. What is
the probability that

(a) Unemployment dropped by 2% or more given that the party gained 6 to 10 seats?
(b) Unemployment changed by less than 2% given that the party lost five or few seats?
59. The press room supervisor for a daily news paper is being pressured to find to print the paper
closer to distribution time, thus giving the editorial staff more leeway for last minute changes. She
has the potion of running the presses at normal speed or at 110% of the normal fast speed.
She estimates that they will run at the higher speed 60 percent of the time. The roll of paper (the
news print web) is twice as likely to tear at the higher speed, which would mean temporarily
stopping the presses.
(a) If the web on a randomly selected run has a probability of 0.112 of tearing, what is the
probability that the web will not tear at normal speed?
(b) If the probability of tearing on fast speed is 0.20, what is the probability that a randomly
selected torn web occurred on normal speed?
60. In the summer of 1995, Boeing, successfully introduced into commercial airline service the 777, a
large plane capable of carrying more than 300 passengers. They sought permission for
transoceanic flights. The 777 is a twin engine aircraft. Earlier such permissions were given to
planes with four engines (such as 747 jumbo jets) or with extensive overland commercial
experience (such as 767 twin jet).
In over water flights the planes may be as far as three hours from the nearest airport. Experience
with such engines shows that the expected rate of failure is once in 50,000 flight hours. If failures
of each of the two engines are independent events
(a) What is the probability of either engine failing during a 6-hour flight?
(b) If one engine has failed, what is the probability that the second engine will fail?
(c) What is the probability that both the engines will fail?
Probability Tree
61. An advertising executive is studying television viewing habits of married men and women during
prime time hours. On the basis of past viewing records, the executive has determined that during
prime time, husbands are watching television 60% of the time. It has also been determined that
when the husband is watching television, 40% of the time the wife is also watching. When the
husband is not watching television, 30% of the time wife is watching television. Find the
probability that
(a) If the wife is watching TV, the husband is also watching TV
(b) The wife is watching TV in prime time.
62. A municipal bond service has three rating categories (A, B & C). Suppose that in the past year, of
the municipal bonds issued throughout the USA, 70% were rated A, 20% were rated B and 10%
were rated C. Of the municipal bond rated A, 50% were issued by cities, 40% by suburbs and
10% by rural areas. Of the municipal bond rated B, 60% were issued by cities, 20% by suburbs
and 20% by rural areas. Of the municipal bond rated C, 90% were issued by cities, 5% by suburbs
and 5% by rural areas.
(a) If a new municipal bond is to be issued by a city, what is the probability it will receive an A
rating?
(b) What proportions of municipal bonds are issued by cities?
(c) What proportions of municipal bonds do suburbs issue?