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Pfeifer, Phillip E.

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A Bayesian Examines the Lady Tasting Tea

This technical note accompanies the case/class on "The Lady Tasting Tea" (LTT). It describes how a Bayesian would update his or her prior probability for the probability the LTT can correctly distinguish cups of tea based on whether the milk was added first or last. This long-form note describes both a discrete model (LTT has p of 0.5 or 0.8) and a more complicated continuous model (p is beta dist ...

A Bayesian Examines the Lady Tasting Tea (Abridged)

This technical note accompanies the case/class on "The Lady Tasting Tea" (LTT). It describes how a Bayesian would update his or her prior probability for the probability the LTT can correctly distinguish cups of tea based on whether the milk was added first or last. The long-form note (UVA-QA-0769) describes both a discrete model (LTT has p of 0.5 or 0.8) and a more complicated continuous model (p ...

A Brief Primer on Probability Distributions

This four-page technical note provides information about five probability distributions. The note describes the parametrics of each distribution, the moments of each distribution, and the important properties of each distribution. ...

Acquisition Cost Allocation at Progressive Insurance

Omar Parvaiz, Progressive Insurance field product manager in charge of Tennessee and South Carolina, must analyze the results of a yearlong test of a new pricing algorithm he developed. The new algorithm allocated marketing costs to policies at a variable rate so the allocated marketing costs (and corresponding price in the cost-plus pricing system) increased with the other costs (primarily expect ...

Alumni Giving

Madison Kryswada, director of alumni relationships at State University, assembled a 123-school data set to explore, in her words, "the drivers of alumni giving rate." The alumni giving rate contributed 5% to the increasingly important U.S. News & World Report rankings of U.S. colleges and universities. Wanting to understand the relationship between this variable and school characteristics, Kryswad ...

American Lawbook Corporation (A)

This case concerns a lawbook publishing company's procedures for evaluating law school textbook proposals. Several evaluation approaches are possible. Historical cost data, assessments of unit sales, and data on market size and number of competing texts are available for evaluating three new titles. (The B case is QA-0260.) ...

American Lawbook Corporation (B)

This case describes two simple regression models built by an analyst at the American Lawbook Corporation in response to the issues of the A case (QA-0257). This B case is used to facilitate the students' analyses of the A case and to focus the discussion concerning the appropriateness of regression analysis. ...

Amore Frozen Foods (A): Macaroni and Cheese Fill Targets

Amore must set the fill-target for its eight-ounce macaroni and cheese pie. Unless five sample pies taken every 20 minutes average more than eight ounces, the entire 20-minute batch must be rejected. The case provides enough information to make an economic decision on the fill target. The case may be used to introduce the distribution of a sample average. ...

Amore Frozen Foods (B): Macaroni and Cheese Check-Weigher

Subsequent to Tom Jenkins' setting of the fill target for Amore's 8-ounce frozen macaroni and cheese pie (see "Amore Frozen Foods (A)" UVA-QA-0317), the technology developed for an automatic check-weigher system. This system could automatically weigh each pie as it crossed over an electronic sensor and identify and segregate all pies weighing less than a prespecified amount. The segregation was ac ...

Assumptions Behind the Linear Regression Model

In a previous note, "Introduction to Least-Squares Modeling" (UVA-QA-0500), we have seen how least squares can be used to fit the simple linear model to historical data. The resulting model can then be used to forecast the next occurrence of Y, the dependent variable, for a given value of X, the independent variable. This use of least squares to fit a forecasting model requires no assumptions. It ...

Berclays Capital: Corn and Ethanol Prices

A summer intern must explain to his boss the negative correlation between the prices of corn and ethanol for 2006 and the first half of 2007. The negative correlation called into question the use of traditional hedges against corn prices to directly hedge against the volatility in ethanol prices. This case comes with a spreadsheet: UVA-QA-0716X, "Berclays Capital: Corn and Ethanol Prices."

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Bidding For Timber

A forestry analyst must review the recent bidding history of 103 timber trees in order to prepare bids for future timber auctions. A regression analysis to predict highest competing bid and a decision analysis to select a bid to maximize expected profit might be used to prepare the case. Students are required to build their own linear models. ...
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