18.600 Probability and Random Variables: Fall 2016

Professor: Elchanan Mossel.

Lectures: MWF 10-11 (54-100).

Problem Sessions: See Piazza

Office hours: See Piazza

TAs: Nilin Abrahamsen and Jon Weed.

Piazza: During the first week, you will receive an invitation to sign up to Piazza . This is where we will post the schedule, the syllabus, announcements, HW and solutions. It is also where you will be contacting us. You will not be able to sign up before you receive an invitation email.

E-Contact: If you have a question, please post it on Piazza . You can use private messages for personal questions.

Text: A First Course in Probability, by Sheldon Ross. I use the 9th edition, but students are welcome to use 6th, 7th, or 8th editions as well. Both hard copies and electronic versions can be obtained inexpensively online by looking up "first course in probability" at Google, Amazon, or ebay. (Here's another free and fun book.)

Prerequisites: This course serves as an elementary introduction to probability. Students should be proficient in multi-variable calculus and comfortable with understanding anc constructing mathematical proofs. No prior knowledge of probability or statistics is needed or expected.

Assignments: 10 problem sets (20%), 2 midterm exams (40%), 1 final exam (40%)

Inclass midterms: Oct 14 & Nov 14.

Final exam: Will be posted by the registrar here.

Homework submission procedure: HW will be posted on Piazza . Check later for submission procedures.

Numbering note: Until spring 2015, the course now called 18.600 was called 18.440. It was renamed as part of a departmental effort to make course labels more logical. The current label conveys that 18.600 is a foundational class and a starting point for the 18.6xx series.


A similar web page for the same course taught by Scott Sheffield . This web-page is modified from that page which contains other interesting and useful information.

Slides for a similar course in Probability based on a book by Jim Pitman.