The main idea in this talk is to discuss probability with a mixed audience through the interest we have in things that surprise us. Some examples include "the birthday problem," "say red," "random scatters," "de Mere's problem," and "Monty Hall."
We will use tools based on discoveries by cognitive psychologists (in particular Tversky and Kanneman) over the last twenty years that have not, as yet, been used for helping understand and learn probability in this country.
We will show simulation programs to give the audience a feel for probability, and animated scenarios to amuse them and make the material more memorable.
No background in probability is assumed. Some notes, complementary to the applets used, are available on line.
If you think that you've heard about these things elsewhere, you'll be surprised!
Susan Holmes studied in France, first in pure mathematics, then received her Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics. She is now a senior researcher at INRA, Department of Biometry in Montpellier, France. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and an associate Professor of Biometry at Cornell. She is currently a visiting associate professor in the Statistics Department at Stanford.