A Students Guide to Probability, Random Variables, Statistics, and Random Processes: An interview with author Ali Grami


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 19 Apr 2019

Ali Grami is a founding faculty member at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Canada. He holds B.Sc., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba, McGill University and the University of Toronto, respectively. Before joining academia, he was with the high-tech industry for many years, where he was the principal designer of the first North-American broadband access satellite system. He has taught at the University of Ottawa and Concordia University. At UOIT, he has also led the development of programs toward bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

His upcoming book Probability, Random Variables, Statistics, and Random Processes: Fundamentals & Applications is set to be published this month. The book itself is an introductory undergratuate-level textbook, with comprehensive and detailed coverage of basic concepts and practical applications of the fundamental concepts that are extensively used in various Engineering disciplines as well as in a variety of programs in Life and Social Sciences. As Ali himself has been teaching course on this subject at both undergraduate and graduate levels, he therefore understands the need for a dedicated textbook at this level. As such, each chapter features problems used to facilitate the learning experience, and an accompanying website will provide PowerPoint slides and a Solutions Manual

Given its engaging tone, grounded approach, methodically-paced flow, thorough coverage, and flexible structure, Probability, Random Variables, Statistics, and Random Processes: Fundamentals & Applications clearly serves as a must textbook for courses not only in Electrical Engineering, but also in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, and Computer Science.

Fran McMahon spoke with Professor Ali to discuss the book's journey.

thumbnail image: A Students Guide to Probability, Random Variables, Statistics, and Random Processes: An interview with author Ali Grami

1. Congratulations upon the publication of Probability, Random Variables, Statistics, and Random Processes: Fundamentals & Applications, a text book for undergraduates studying probability, random variables, and statistics. What led to you deciding to write this book specifically for students?

I have been teaching an undergraduate course on this subject for many years. Although there are some good books overall on the subject, I could not find one coving all four topics of interest in detail at an undergraduate level. To this effect, I wrote this book as it met my personal requirements as well as the market needs.

2. What were your main objectives during the writing process?

To lucidly write a comprehensive detailed book on probability, random variables, statistics, and random processes at an undergraduate level with numerous examples and applications, as the subject is rather abstract and generally not easy to understand.

3. This book is a teaching resource with a supplemental website that includes solutions to about 250 practice problems, lecture slides, and figures and tables from the text. Is there a reason as to why you included this website for this book?

My focus was to provide the information that is helpful to students, i.e., solutions to all problems in the book, and to instructors so they could easily prepare their lectures.

4. The text itself is split into different focusing on a different topic. Would you consider in future a separate and deeper explorations of these topics?

No, I am not planning to write a book at a higher level on any of these topics, as the book will not be then an undergraduate-level textbook.

5. If there is one piece of information or advice that you would want your audience to take away from your book, what would that be?

My advice is after studying a paragraph or a section or a chapter, reflect on it, so as to fully absorb the concept just introduced, and also, do not read the examples, but cover the solutions, and do them on your own, then compare your solution with the one provided.

6. Who should read the book and why?

Anyone who wants to learn the topics of probability, random variables, statistics, and random processes from scratch, i.e., they do not have any background in the field, and they also want to learn the applications of concepts very well.

7. Why, do you think, this book of may be of interest now?

The topics of probability, random variables, statistics, and random processes have numerous applications in an array of fields, such as Engineering, Finance, and Life, Health and Social Sciences. This is an area whose applications are always expanding quite rapidly.

8. What is it about the area of probability, random variables, and statistics that fascinates you?

These topics are at the heart of my field (telecommunications) over the past forty years, after all the essence of communications is randomness, if the receive end knows what the transmit end is going to send, why bother to transmit the message?

9. What other work are you currently working on or has recently been published?

My first book was Introduction to Digital Communications, published by Elsevier in 2016. I am currently working on my third book, entitled Discrete Mathematics: Essentials and Applications, once again at an undergraduate level. I have not approached a publisher yet, but I am very hopeful that I will find one, and the book will be published in 2022.

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