This is an introductory course to probability theory and its applications. Some of the topics that will be covered include: combinatorial analysis, axioms of probability and independence, conditional probability, Bayes' theorem, random variables (discrete and continuous), joint probability distributions, properties of expectation, the central limit theorem, the law of large numbers, and Markov chains. Students cannot receive credit for this course and CE-107.


The course aims to provide an introduction to the basic ideas of probability, distribution theory and their applications. The main goal is to develop basic mathematical tools to consider models that incorporate uncertainty using a probabilistic framework.


Economics 11B or Mathematics 11B or 19B.


M.H. DeGroot and M.J. Schervish (2002) Probability and Statistics. Fourth Edition. Addison Wesley.

Additional Reference:  A First Course in Probability (sixth edition). S. Ross. Prentice Hall


There will be one midterm (35%), three quizzes (but only best two scores will be used in the grade calculation, see below) (30%), and a final exam (35%). The homework assignments will not be graded but exams and quizzes will be based on the homework. The quizzes will be held in class. There will be no make-up for quizzes, no exceptions, your lowest score will be dropped to allow for any event (i.e., health problems, appointments with the doctor, etc) that might prevent you from taking a particular quiz. The dates of the quizzes will be available online. In the unlikely event that a quiz date needs to be change, the new date will be announced at least one week in advance. 

Homework Assignments

As mentioned above, there will be several (possibly weekly) homework assignments which will not be graded. Homework assignments will give you a very close indication of the material that will be covered in exams and quizzes. There is a very strong correlation between solving the homework problems on your own and having a good grade on this class.