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Problem Set- Discrete Distributions

1. An information technology center uses nine aging disk drives for storage. The probability
that any one of them is out of service is 0.06. For the center to function properly, at least
seven of the drives must be available. What is the probability that the computing center
can get its work done?
2. The Stanley Cup playoff in professional hockey is a seven-game series, where the first
team to win four games is declared the champion. The series, then, can last anywhere from
four to seven games (just like the World Series in baseball). Calculate the likelihoods that
the series will last four, five, six, or seven games. Assume that each game is an
independent event and (2) the two teams are evenly matched.
3. The junior mathematics class at Superior High School knows that the probability of
making a 600 or greater on the SAT Reasoning Test in Mathematics is 0.231, while the
similar probability for the Critical Reading Test is 0.191. The math students issue a
challenge to their math-averse classmates. Each group will select four students and have
them take the respective test. The mathematics students will win the challenge if more of
their members exceed 600 on the mathematics test than do the other students on the
Critical Reading Test. What is the probability that the mathematics students win the
4. The probability that a certain kind of component will survive a given test is . Find the
probability that exactly 2 of the next 4 components tested survive.
5. The probability that a patient recovers from a rare blood disease is 0.4. If 15 people are
known to have contracted this disease, what is the probability that (a) at least 10 survive
(b) form 3 to 8 survives and (c) exactly 5 survive?
6. A committee of size 5 is to be selected at random from 3 chemists and 5 physicists. Find
the probability distribution for the number of chemists on the committee.
7. Lots of 40 components each are called acceptable if they contain no more than 3
defectives. The procedure for sampling the lot is to select 5 components at random and to
reject the lot if a defective is found. What is the probability that exactly 1 defective is
found in the sample if there are 3 defectives in the entire lot?
8. Find the probability that a person tossing 3 coins will get either all heads or all tails for the
2nd time on the 5th Toss.
9. In a certain manufacturing process it is known that on the average, 1 in every 100 items is
defective. What is the probability that the 5 th item inspected is the first defective item
10. At busy time a telephone exchange is very near capacity, so callers have difficulty placing
their calls. It may be of interest to know the number of attempts necessary in order to gain

a connection. Suppose that we let p=0.05 be the probability of a connection during the
busy time. What is the probability that 5 attempts are necessary for a successful call?
11. During a laboratory experiment the average number of radioactive particles passing
through a counter in 1 millisecond is 4. What is the probability that 6 particles enter the
counter in a given millisecond?
12. 10 is the average number of oil tankers arriving each day at a certain port city. The
facilities at the port can handle at most 15 tankers per day. What is the probability that on a
given day tankers have to be turned away?
13. In a manufacturing process where glass products are produced, defects or bubbles occur,
occasionally rendering the piece undesirable for marketing. It is known that, on average, 1
in every 1000 of these items produced has one or more bubbles. What is the probability
that a random sample of 8000 will yield fewer than 7 items possessing bubbles?
14. Suppose in USA out of 137.8 million individual tax payers only 1735 were convicted for
tax fraud and sent to jail. If a particular town has 65,000 tax payers whose income profile
and possibility of tax evasion are same as US citizens, then what is the probability that at
least 3 residents of the town will be jailed?
15. The number of traffic accidents per week in a small city has a Poisson distribution with
mean 3. What is the probability of exactly 2 accidents occurring in 2 weeks?
16. Let X

Poi ( =1 ) . What is the probability that X 2 given that X 4 ?

17. The probability that a machine produces a defective item is 0.02. Each item is checked as
it is produced. Assuming that these are independent trials, what is the probability that at
least 100 items must be checked to find one that is defective?
18. What is the probability that the 5th head is observed on the 10th independent flip of a coin?
19. A pair of fair dice is tossed until a sum of 7 appears for the first time. What is the
probability that more than 4 trials will be required for that to happen?
20. It is known that screws produced by a certain machine will be defective with probability
0.01 independently of each other. If we randomly pick 10 screws produced by this
machine, what is the probability that at least two screws will be defective?
21. A manufacturer of inkjet printers claims that only 5% of their printers require repairs
within the first year. If of a random sample of 18 of the printers, four required repairs
within the first year, does this tend to refute or support the manufacturers claim?