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Multiple-Solution Problems in a Statistics Classroom: An Example

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IJMEST Volume 48, Number 8, ISSN 0020-739X


The mathematics education literature shows that encouraging students to develop multiple solutions for given problems has a positive effect on students' understanding and creativity. In this paper, we present an example of multiple-solution problems in statistics involving a set of non-traditional dice. In particular, we consider the exact probability mass distribution for the sum of face values. Four different ways of solving the problem are discussed. The solutions span various basic concepts in different mathematical disciplines (sample space in probability theory, the probability generating function in statistics, integer partition in basic combinatorics and individual risk model in actuarial science) and thus promotes upper undergraduate students' awareness of knowledge connections between their courses. All solutions of the example are implemented using the R statistical software package.


Chu, C.W., Chan, K.L.T., Chan, W.S. & Kwong, K.S. (2017). Multiple-Solution Problems in a Statistics Classroom: An Example. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 48(8), 1249-1261. Retrieved May 29, 2020 from .

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