About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1608-1614
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0028

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

EXPLAINING THE BAYES’ THEOREM GRAPHICALLY

P. Ballesteros-Pérez1, M.C. González-Cruz2, D. Mora-Melià3

1Loughborough University (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
3Universidad de Talca (CHILE)
The Bayes’ theorem on conditional probabilities is normally presented to students in introductory courses/modules on Statistics and Probability. This because most STEM students will make use of conditional probabilities in their professional lives with or without noticing. However, maybe because of the unfamiliar notation or because of the variety of ways in which this theorem can be formulated, most students have trouble understanding it. Moreover, when it comes to practical applications and problem exercises, most students (who have generally memorised its manifold ways of rearranging the conditional probabilities formula along with a few applications) struggle even more to come up with correct solutions.

By means of a completely graphical approach, this paper presents an alternative way of explaining the Bayes’ theorem to STEM students. By means of diagrams and schematics the students can see the conditional probabilities represented as areas in a square. Simple geometric operations with these areas (additions and multiplications mostly) allow them, not just to understand this theorem far quicker, but to apply it confidently in almost any possible problem configuration. Overall, this paper offers an alternative or complementary way of explaining this important theorem more clearly to students that take probability courses by conveying it graphically instead of with the traditional mathematical formulae.

Through a representative case study, this paper deals provides first-hand evidence about how confusing to understand the Bayes’ theorem might be at first even in simple problems, and how the understanding of this theorem is dramatically improved when presenting it graphically.
@InProceedings{BALLESTEROSPEREZ2018EXP,
author = {Ballesteros-P{\'{e}}rez, P. and Gonz{\'{a}}lez-Cruz, M.C. and Mora-Melià, D.},
title = {EXPLAINING THE BAYES’ THEOREM GRAPHICALLY},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0028},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0028},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1608-1614}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Ballesteros-Pérez AU - M.C. González-Cruz AU - D. Mora-Melià
TI - EXPLAINING THE BAYES’ THEOREM GRAPHICALLY
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0028
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 1608
EP - 1614
ER -
P. Ballesteros-Pérez, M.C. González-Cruz, D. Mora-Melià (2018) EXPLAINING THE BAYES’ THEOREM GRAPHICALLY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 1608-1614.
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