Introduction to Probability: Part II – Inference & Processes

Learn how to use probability theory to develop the basic elements of statistical inference and important random process models
Introduction to Probability: Part II – Inference & Processes
This course is archived
Estimated 16 weeks
6 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule

About this course

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The world is full of uncertainty: accidents, storms, unruly financial markets, noisy communications. The world is also full of data. Probabilistic modeling and the related field of statistical inference are the keys to analyzing data and making scientifically sound predictions.

This course is part of a 2-part sequence on the basic tools of probabilistic modeling. Topics covered in this course include:  
  • laws of large numbers
  • the main tools of Bayesian inference methods
  • an introduction to classical statistical methods
  • an introduction to random processes (Poisson processes and Markov chains)

This course is a follow-up to Introduction to Probability: Part I - The Fundamentals, which introduced the general framework of probability models, multiple discrete or continuous random variables, expectations, conditional distributions, and various powerful tools of general applicability. The contents of the two parts of the course are essentially the same as those of the corresponding MIT class, which has been offered and continuously refined over more than 50 years. It is a challenging class, but will enable you to apply the tools of probability theory to real-world applications or your research.

Probabilistic models use the language of mathematics. But instead of relying on the traditional "theorem - proof" format, we develop the material in an intuitive - but still rigorous and mathematically precise - manner. Furthermore, while the applications are multiple and evident, we emphasize the basic concepts and methodologies that are universally applicable.

Photo by Pablo Ruiz Múzquiz on Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Data Analysis & Statistics
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:
    6.041.1x or equivalent. Calculus (single-variable and multivariable). Comfort with mathematical reasoning,  sequences, limits, infinite series, the chain rule, and ordinary or multiple integrals.
  • Language: English

What you'll learn

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  • Bayesian Inference: concepts and key methods
  • Laws of large numbers and their applications
  • Basic concepts of classical statistical inference
  • Basic random process models (Bernoulli, Poisson and Markov) and their main properties
  • Bayesian inference: basic concepts and methods
  • Inference in linear normal models
  • General and linear least mean squares estimation
  • Limit theorems (weak law of large numbers, and the central limit theorem)
  • An introduction to classical statistics
  • The Bernoulli and Poisson processes
  • Markov chains

Learner testimonials

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“This is by far the best probability & statistics course available--online or in the classroom.” – Previous Student

About the instructors