Our objective is to provide a post-calculus introduction to the subject of probability that
• Has mathematical integrity and contains some underlying theory
• Shows students a broad range of applications involving real problem scenarios
• Is current in its selection of topics
• Is accessible to a wide audience, including mathematics and statistics majors (yes, there are a few of the latter, and their numbers are growing), prospective engineers and scientists, and business and social science majors interested in the quantitative aspects of their disciplines
• Illustrates the importance of software for carrying out simulations when answers to questions cannot be obtained analytically
A number of currently available probability texts are heavily oriented toward a rigorous mathematical development of probability, with much emphasis on theorems, proofs, and derivations. Even when applied material is included, the scenarios are often contrived (many examples and exercises involving dice, coins, cards, and widgets). So in our exposition we have tried to achieve a balance between mathematical foundations and the application of probability to realworld problems. It is our belief that the theory of probability by itself is often not enough of a “hook” to get students interested in further work in the subject. We think that the best way to persuade students to continue their probabilistic education beyond a first course is to show them how the methodology is used in practice. Let’s first seduce them (figuratively speaking, of course) with intriguing problem scenarios and applications. Opportunities for exposure to mathematical rigor will follow in due course.