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Reference no. 9-621-704
New product
Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2021)
2 February 2021
Revision date:
9 pages
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This technical note introduces students to the concept of random variables, and from there the normal and binomial distributions. After a brief introduction to random variables, the note describes the standard properties of the normal distribution: a single peak, and a symmetric, bell-shaped curve. Students observe the 68-95-99.7 rule, and see how the distribution changes with different values of the mean and standard deviation parameters. Finally, the note demonstrates how probability calculations based on the normal distribution can be done in the R programming language, and how random data can be simulated from a normal curve in R. The note then describes the standard properties of the binomial distribution, and similarly shows how binomial calculations can be performed in R.


Marketing; Risk management; Strategy; Business analysis; Managing uncertainty; Operations and processes

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