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# STAT 120 Lecture 8 Random Variables A random variable is a quantity whose value is determined by the outcome of a statistical experiment.

. It can be thought of as a function that maps the outcomes of a statistical experiment into the set of real numbers. A random variable is said to be discrete if its range is finite or countably infinite. Examples Coin is tossed three times. Let X be the number of heads obtained. hen X is a discrete random variable which ta!es the value "# \$# % and &. Coin is tossed until a head is obtained. Let ' be the random variable representing the number of tosses required. ' is a discrete random variable ta!ing values \$# %# &# (# )# ****.. A random variable is said to be continuous if its range is an interval of the real line. Example +tudents are chosen at random from the set of all male students at ,-I and their heights .in cm/ are measured. Let X be the height of a student. X is a continuous random variable. he behaviour of a discrete random variable X may be completely described by giving# for each value of X# the probability that X assumes that value. If X is a random variable# then the probability function f of X is the function f.x/ 0 1.X0x/ for each x in the range of X. A fair coin is tossed three times. Let X be the number of heads obtained. he probability function of X is given in the following table.