Lesson 3 – The ‘Set’up

We begin our quest with the idea of classifying things. Whether it is Aristotle grouping animals into those living in water and those living on land, or you and me grouping our daily activities into those best done in the morning and those best done in the evening, we are all obsessed with putting things in order – into blocks — groups — SETS.

Math puritans can start with Georg Cantor’s Set Theory. Others can think of SET as a collection of distinct elements.

The fruit basket in your house is a set of fruits consisting of apples, bananas, and grapes – {apple, banana, grapes}.

After work, you can visit a local hangout place where you find a set of people interested in alcohol or food or both.

The vowels in English alphabets are a set {a, e, i, o, u}. The English alphabets are a set {a, b, c, …, x, y, z}.

The outcomes of a coin toss are a set {Head, Tail}.

In the game of Monopoly, you move by the outcomes of the dice. These outcomes are a set of number combinations – {(1,1), (1,2) … (6,6)}.

We all tried rolling a double to get out of jail. Did you know that the odds of getting out of jail by rolling a double are only 16.6%?

There are six possible doubles (see the red background combinations along the diagonal – {(1,1), (2,2), (3,3), (4,4), (5,5), (6,6)}) when you roll two dice. The entire set of possible combinations are 36. The odds are 6/36. Maybe you should have paid the \$50 to get out of jail immediately.

Think about sets and possible outcomes in whatever you do this week — Happy President’s Day.

Speaking of Presidents, you should have already imagined a Set of

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