Most people learn about probability concepts through examples of coins and dice. But that rarely helps in developing an intuitive mind for probabilities. The cure for it is to leverage the idea of natural frequencies.
The day remains deeply etched in my memory. I was in the fifth standard and the maths teacher had introduced the concept of percentages that day. It sounded freakishly alien and I just couldn’t fathom it. I literally had tears in my eyes because it seemed that everybody in the class understood it except me.
The teacher had repeated the definition – percentage is when you normalize any ratio to base of hundred – at least a dozen times in the class that day. It didn’t help.
Then my father explained, “Look. When you divide something in two equal parts, each part is called half, right? Instead of calling it half, let’s call it 50 percent. Now, when you divide something in four equal parts each portion is one fourth, correct? Let’s call that 25 percent.”
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