Chapter 46

Math for electronics

This chapter is intended to introduce or refresh some useful math concepts for designers. 

It is not a math course, math specialists should not read this section, or at their risk !

46.1 Statistics

As a start point, let's play dice.

46.1.1 One die statistics

If we play with only one die, we can get values from 1 to 6 with the same probability (1/6=0.16667). Average value over a large number of runs is 3.5. Probability of getting a value between 3 and 4 inclusively is 2/6. The sum of probabilities is 1, obviously: The die has to give a value, and that value has to be between 1 and 6!

46.1.2 Two dice statistics

Now if we play with two dice and sum up the values, result can range from 2 to 12. But what about the probabilities? You can write in a table the possible values for one die and for each of these the possible values of the other die. This is easy to check in a spreadsheet like Excel or Calc.


You get 36 possibilities. In the rightmost column that sums the dice values, you can see that:

  • Values 2 and 12 occur just once.
  • Values 3 and 11 occur twice.
  • Values 4 and 10 occur three times.
  • Values 5 and 9 occur four times.
  • Values 6 and 8 occur five times.
  • Value 7 occurs six times.

Let's plot probability versus value (just divide above values by 36 so that integral is 1):


Average value per die is still 3.5. But now, probability of getting a value between 3 and 4 (between 6 and 8 for the sum) inclusively is 16/36. 

It has been multiplied by 4/3 with respect to the single die play

46.1.3 Three dice statistics

With three dice, values range from 3 to 18. Again this can be done in a spreadsheet. 

There are 6^3 =216 possibilities with the following occurrences:

Average per die is still 3.5 and now probability of getting a value between 3 and 4 inclusively is 104/ 216.

It has been multiplied by 13/9 with respect to the one die play.

Now let's compare the probabilities for 1 to 4 dice:


Doesn't the 4 Dice curve remind you anything ?