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Poisson Distributions

The Poisson distribution is most commonly used to model the number of random occurrences of some phenomenon in a specified unit of space or time. For example,
· The number of phone calls received by a telephone operator in a 10-minute period.
· The number of flaws in a bolt of fabric.
· The number of typos per page made by a secretary.

EXAMPLE: The number of false fire alarms in a suburb of Houston averages 2.1 per day. Assuming that a Poisson distribution is appropriate, the probability that 4 false alarms will occur on a given day is given by

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