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Birthday Problem and Class Phenotypic Probabilities

This workbook as two related applications, the Birthday Problem and Class Phenotypic Probabilities. The Birthday Problem calculates the probability that two people in a given number will have the same birthday. The user will enter their class number into the worksheet and the program will output a probability, graphically. Class Phenotypic Probabilities determines the allelic frequency of a population for 6 characteristics (blood type, RH positive/negative, sex, mid-digital hair positive/negative, earlobes attached/unattached and PTC taste receptor). The user can enter their phenotype for each characteristic and the program will calculate the probability of that particular combination and the probability of other people having the same combination.


John R. Jungck, Beloit College
Annelise L Myers, Beloit College
Jennifer A Spangenberg, Beloit College

Published by: BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

OS: all

User Manuals and Curricular Materials
Popular Text Citations

Feller, W. (1968) An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications, Vol. 1, 3rd ed. New York: Wiley, pp. 31-32.

Hunter, J. A. H. and Madachy, J. S. (1975) Mathematical Diversions. New York: Dover, pp. 102-103.

Ball, W. W. R. and Coxeter, H. S. M. (1987) Mathematical Recreations and Essays, 13th ed. New York: Dover, pp. 45-46.

Research Articles

Riesel, H. (1994) Prime Numbers and Computer Methods for Factorization, 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser, pp.179-180.

Diaconis, P. and Mosteller, F. (1989) "Methods for Studying Coincidences." J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 84: 853-861 .

Clevenson, M. L. and Watkins, W. (1991) "Majorization and the Birthday Inequality." Mathematics Magazine 64: 183-188.

Sayrafiezadeh, M. (1994) "The Birthday Problem Revisited." Mathematics Magazine 67: 220-223.

Abramson, M. and Moser, W. O. J. (1970) "More Birthday Surprises." American Mathematical Monthly 77: 856-858.

Gehan, E. A. (Apr. 1968) "Note on the 'Birthday Problem."' Amer. Stat. 22, 28.

Levin, B. (1981) "A Representation for Multinomial Cumulative Distribution Functions." Annals of Statistics 9, 1123-1126.

Stewart, I. (June 1998) "What a Coincidence!" Scientific American 278:95-96.

Hocking, R. L. and Schwertman, N. C. (1986) "An Extension of the Birthday Problem to Exactly k Matches." College Mathematics Journal 17: 315-321.

Heuer, G. A. (1959) "Estimation in a Certain Probability Problem." American Mathematical Monthly 66: 704-706.

McKinney, E. H. (1996) "Generalized Birthday Problem." American Mathematical Monthly 73: 385-387.

Klamkin, M. S. and Newman, D. J. (1967) "Extensions of the Birthday Surprise." Journal of Combinatorics Th. 3: 279-282.

Bloom, D. M. (1973) "A Birthday Problem." American Mathematical Monthly 80: 1141-1142.

Education Research & Pedagogical Materials

Lesser, L.M. (1999). Exploring the birthday problem with spreadsheets, The Mathematics Teacher (92), No. 5 pp. 407-411.

Stultz, Lowell. 2000. Probabilities and Statistics on the Spreadsheet. In 'How to Excel in Finite Math'. Pearson Custom Publishing, Boston, Pages 104-113.

Tutorial & Background materials

Eric W. Weisstein. "Birthday Problem." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

Becky Schmoyer. The Birthday Problem

S. Finch. "Puzzle #28 [June 1997]: Coincident Birthdays."

Ivars Peterson. "MathTrek: Birthday Surprises." Nov. 21, 1998.

Bogomolny, A. "Coincidence"

The Birthday Problem, University of Virginia

L. Tesler. "Not a Coincidence!"

George Reese. The Birthday Problem: A short lesson in probability. Applet by Nicholas Exner and Michael McKelvey

Jungck John R., Myers Annelise L, Spangenberg Jennifer A () Birthday Problem and Class Phenotypic Probabilities. A module of the Biological ESTEEM Collection, published by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. URL: