Snapchat is a social media
platform that allows people to send pictures for a designated period of time.
It is swiftly rising to the top of the social media food chain. The easy to use
interface is equipped with filters that allow users to jazz up their selfies
with backgrounds or costumes.

There are currently 158
million people on Snapchat. There are 80 million American users and 100 million
people between the ages of 12- 34 in America suggesting that there is a 80%
chance that if you send a Snapchat, as a millennial, you will get a snap back. These
numbers are used to generate probabilities. In probability theory, we consider
randomness and uncertainty in models but in statistics we make observations to
figure out a process. To generate
statistics on whether someone will send you a snapchat in return you would need
to establish a relationship. You would need to keep track of past events and
establish patterns. It begs the question how can we use randomness to determine
statistics.

Chevalier de Mere was a
gambling man interested in seeing if the “house” truly always wins. In a game
of dice a player would roll four dice and the player would win if no six
appeared on any die. The Monte Carlo was created by George Louis LeClerc. The
simulation is essentially a coin flip simulator. He used the principle of
Buffon’s needle which can be simulated on: http://www.metablake.com/pi.swf. He estimated that the probability of the needles crossing when
being thrown randomly is 2/π. The Monte
Carlo method has since been modified many times but requires three things:
modeling of a system of probability density functions, repeatedly sampling from
these functions and computing the statistics of interest. All in all,
simulation of data and performing statistical analysis is the intersect between
statistics and probability.

Unfortunately, millennials,
until a great statistician like you models the probability density function for Snapchats
returned we remain with our sad return probability of 80%. Hopefully you become
BFFs with Kylie Jenner so she can increase your probability. Until then… Happy
modeling!

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