Introduction to Probability

Instructor: Yaniv Plan
Office: 1219 Math Annex
Email:  yaniv (at) math (dot) ubc (dot) ca

Lectures: TTHF 15:00 – 17:00, W 15:00-16:00, Chem B250

Office hours: Tues 14:00 – 15:00, Wed 16:00 – 17:00, MATX 1219

Class discussion room:  TWTh 10:00-11:00, MATX 1118.  (This is for  meeting other students to discuss and work together!)

Outline and grading scheme: here

Textbook:  We follow the book “Introduction to Probability” by Anderson, Seppalainen, and Valko. Other references of interest are R. L. Scheaffer, “Introduction to Probability and its Applications”, and S. M. Ross, “A First Course in Probability”. 

Lecture notes (in Onenote) follow the textbook.  You’ll need to register an account to view these.

Midterm:  Thursday, May 30, in class.

Week-by-week schedule:  (We may get ahead or behind, but will cover the following sections in the following order.)

Week Textbook sections Notes
May 6-12 1.1-1.5, 2.1-2.4
May 13-19 2.4-2.5, 3.1-3.5, 4.1-4.2
May 20-26 4.3-4.5, 5.1-5.2, 6.1-6.2
May 27-June 2 6.3, 7.1, 8.1-8.2 Midterm May 30 (we
June 3-9 No class (midterm break)
June 10-16 8.3-8.4, 9.1-9.3
June 17-20 10.1-10.3 Last lecture on Thursday

Homework 1, due Thursday, May 16, beginning of class.  Solutions 1.

Homework 2, due Thursday, May 23, beginning of class.  Solutions 2.

Homework 3:  Study for the midterm.  Midterm covers all material in schedule in first four chapters of book.  Here are some practice problems:  Practice problemsSolutions 3.  Also, textbook problems 4.17, 4.7, 4.8.

Homework 4, due Thursday, June 13, beginning of class.
Notes for this week:

  • We will not be covering Section 7.2 of the textbook.
  • Here are the anonymized marks on midterm and first two assignments.

Homework 5, due Thursday, June 20, beginning of class (last day of class!).


Here are previous midterms and sample midterms.  Our midterm will be a bit longer and more challenging since it will be 1.5 hours long. Relevant problems noted:

Problems 1, 2, 3:  Practice Midterm 1Solutions 1.  (Covers earlier material)
Problems 1, 2, 3:  Practice Midterm 2Solutions 2. (Covers earlier material)


Final exam:  Monday, June  24, 8:30am, Buchanan A201.

  • The exam is cumulative and covers all material from class.
  • You are allowed two 3 x 5 index cards of notes (front and back), but the exam will not contain any information about probability distributions etc.
  • You may state answers in terms of the normal CDF.
  • To aid your study, please try the final exams from previous years:  here.  They cover the same material we covered except that 1) you don’t need to study continuity correction for CLT approximation of binomial, 2) we may have a question using indicator random variables to compute expectation, and variance, along the lines of Textbook Problem 8.35.