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Course# MATH-496: Computational linear algebra

Summary

This is an introductory course to the concentration of measure phenomenon - random functions that depend on many random variables tend to be often close to constant functions.

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Normal distribution

In statistics, a normal distribution or Gaussian distribution is a type of continuous probability distribution for a real-valued random variable. The general form of its probability density function is The parameter is the mean or expectation of the distribution (and also its median and mode), while the parameter is its standard deviation. The variance of the distribution is . A random variable with a Gaussian distribution is said to be normally distributed, and is called a normal deviate.

Probability theory

Probability theory or probability calculus is the branch of mathematics concerned with probability. Although there are several different probability interpretations, probability theory treats the concept in a rigorous mathematical manner by expressing it through a set of axioms. Typically these axioms formalise probability in terms of a probability space, which assigns a measure taking values between 0 and 1, termed the probability measure, to a set of outcomes called the sample space.

Probability distribution

In probability theory and statistics, a probability distribution is the mathematical function that gives the probabilities of occurrence of different possible outcomes for an experiment. It is a mathematical description of a random phenomenon in terms of its sample space and the probabilities of events (subsets of the sample space). For instance, if X is used to denote the outcome of a coin toss ("the experiment"), then the probability distribution of X would take the value 0.5 (1 in 2 or 1/2) for X = heads, and 0.

Concentration inequality

In probability theory, concentration inequalities provide bounds on how a random variable deviates from some value (typically, its expected value). The law of large numbers of classical probability theory states that sums of independent random variables are, under very mild conditions, close to their expectation with a large probability. Such sums are the most basic examples of random variables concentrated around their mean. Recent results show that such behavior is shared by other functions of independent random variables.

Probability density function

In probability theory, a probability density function (PDF), density function, or density of an absolutely continuous random variable, is a function whose value at any given sample (or point) in the sample space (the set of possible values taken by the random variable) can be interpreted as providing a relative likelihood that the value of the random variable would be equal to that sample.