# ALEX Classroom Resource

## Using Probability in Search-and-Rescue Operations | Prediction by the Numbers

Classroom Resource Information

Title:

Using Probability in Search-and-Rescue Operations | Prediction by the Numbers

URL:

https://aptv.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/nvpn-sci-sarops/using-probability-in-search-and-rescue-operations-prediction-by-the-numbers/

Content Source:

PBS
Type: Audio/Video

Overview:

Explore how probability can be used to help find people lost at sea, even when rescuers have very little information, in this video from NOVA: Prediction by the Numbers. To improve its search-and-rescue efforts, the U.S. Coast Guard has developed a system that uses Bayesian inference, a mathematical concept that dates back to the 18th century. The Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) uses a mathematical approach to calculate probabilities of where a floating person or object might be based on changing ocean currents, wind direction, or other new information. Use this resource to stimulate thinking and questions about appropriate uses of statistical methods.

Content Standard(s):
 Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra I 47 ) Understand that two events A and B are independent if the probability of A and B occurring together is the product of their probabilities, and use this characterization to determine if they are independent. [S-CP2] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II 40 ) Understand the conditional probability of A given B as P(A and B)/P(B), and interpret independence of A and B as saying that the conditional probability of A given B is the same as the probability of A, and the conditional probability of B given A is the same as the probability of B. [S-CP3] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II 42 ) Recognize and explain the concepts of conditional probability and independence in everyday language and everyday situations. [S-CP5] Example: Compare the chance of having lung cancer if you are a smoker with the chance of being a smoker if you have lung cancer. Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II 43 ) Find the conditional probability of A given B as the fraction of B's outcomes that also belong to A, and interpret the answer in terms of the model. [S-CP6] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II 38 ) (+) Analyze decisions and strategies using probability concepts (e.g., product testing, medical testing, pulling a hockey goalie at the end of a game). [S-MD7] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II with Trigonometry 42 ) (+) Analyze decisions and strategies using probability concepts (e.g., product testing, medical testing, pulling a hockey goalie at the end of a game). [S-MD7] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II with Trigonometry 44 ) Understand the conditional probability of A given B as P(A and B)/P(B), and interpret independence of A and B as saying that the conditional probability of A given B is the same as the probability of A, and the conditional probability of B given A is the same as the probability of B. [S-CP3] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II with Trigonometry 46 ) Recognize and explain the concepts of conditional probability and independence in everyday language and everyday situations. [S-CP5] Example: Compare the chance of having lung cancer if you are a smoker with the chance of being a smoker if you have lung cancer. Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Algebra II with Trigonometry 47 ) Find the conditional probability of A given B as the fraction of B's outcomes that also belong to A, and interpret the answer in terms of the model. [S-CP6] Mathematics MA2015 (2016) Grade: 9-12 Geometry 43 ) (+) Analyze decisions and strategies using probability concepts (e.g., product testing, medical testing, pulling a hockey goalie at the end of a game). [S-MD7] (Alabama) Example: What is the probability of tossing a penny and having it land in the non-shaded region' Geometric Probability is the Non-Shaded Area divided by the Total Area. Tags: conditional probability, independence, independent, outcomes, probability