# I’LL GIVE YOU A DEFINITE MAYBE

An Introductory Handbook
on Probability, Statistics, and Excel

This text has
been prepared by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, British
Columbia, for the use of students in Liberal Studies courses. The text is in the public domain, released
May 2000]

## Introductory Note

The material here was originally prepared as a
five-week module for students in Liberal Studies 402 at Malaspina
University-College. The purpose of that module was to introduce students to some
basic ideas in probability and statistics and to encourage them to learn
something about working with Excel 7.
The text was designed as a hands-on workshop, which students can carry
out on their own (although some class room assistance is strongly recommended). Thus, students will learn something of the
fundamentals of spread sheet procedures and mathematical concepts as they move
through the following pages. However,
it is not the purpose of this handbook to explore the complex conceptual issues
basic to a full understanding of these mathematical ideas.

Throughout this workbook there are a number of
self-test questions and sample exercises.
Students should work their way through these to make sure they
understand the procedures in Excel and the application of some basic
probabilistic and statistical concepts.
There is a section at the end of this handbook explaining the answers to
the self-test sections.

The material here has been organized for students
who have no particular skill or familiarity with mathematics. The emphasis is on understanding only the
very basics concepts involved in statistical procedures and the procedures
which will enable one to derive the appropriate information through Excel
functions.

The contents of this work book are an amalgam of
material from a number of different sources which have been freely plundered
for explanations, examples, and problems.
Some of the material in the first section comes from outlines and
exercises prepared by Liberal Studies faculty (e.g., John Black and Rod
Church), and almost all the rest comes from one or more of the books listed in
the bibliography.

## Table of Contents

**Section
One: Basic Concepts of Probability**

**Section
Two: Introduction to Excel**

**Section
Three: Descriptive Statistics**

**Section
Four: Correlation**

**Section
Five: Normal Distribution**

**Section
Six: Samples and Populations**

**Section
Seven: Comparing Samples, Tests of Significance**

**Bibliography
(under construction)**

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