Become a math whiz with AI Tutoring, Practice Questions & more.

# Sets

As we start to get into probability and statistics, we will hear the term "set" used frequently. But what exactly *is* a set? The definition is probably much simpler than you realize, and it's definitely not hard to wrap our minds around this concept. That being said, operations with sets can be very complex in some cases.

## What is a set?

A set is a collection of events, numbers, names, qualities, or anything else for that matter. A set often represents the result of an experiment. For example, we might measure how many times our teacher wears the color blue each month. Or perhaps we might measure the number of ice cream cones we eat each day.

A set can also be a collection of labels rather than numbers or results. For example, our "set" could simply be a list of our friends:

{John, Clarence, Mika, Ferdinand, Veronica}

Note that we "contain" our set within these symbols "{}." These symbols are called braces.

You might also see a set of numbers: {2, -5, 0.118, 3, 5, 1, 0}

## The roster method

One way to represent a set is with the roster or "tabular" form. With this method, we list all elements of our set, separate them with commas, and place them between braces.

For example:{3, 2, 4, 2, 1, 6, 3, 6, 7, 2}

This method is far more common than any other, and it's what we'll typically see when solving statistics and probability problems.

## The set-builder method

Another option is the set-builder method. This strategy involves establishing that all elements of the set share the same property.

For example: $Z=\left\{x:x\mathrm{integer}\right\}$

This essentially means: "The set Z equals all the values of x such that x is an integer."

Here''s another example of the set-builder method: $M=\left\{x|x\ge 3\right\}$

This essentially means: "All real numbers x such that x is greater than 3." For example, 3.1 is within this set while 2 is not.

## Empty sets

You might also get a set that has *no* elements whatsoever. For example, we might be measuring rainy days in the month of July. But what happens when it doesn't rain for a single day in July?

In this case, we would create a special set called an "empty set." Empty sets are very easy to represent since we can just use this symbol: "$\mathrm{\xe2\x88\x85}$."

## Elements of a set

If x is an element of a set A, we can write this in the following formula:

$x\in A$

If x is *not* an element of A, we can use this formula instead:

$x\notin A$

If we know that all values within set Z must be an integer, we can write something like this:

$\mathrm{-862}\in Z$

Why? Because -862 is an integer.

If set M includes all real numbers greater than 3, we can write this:

$M\notin 2.9$.

## Topics related to the Sets

Fundamental Counting Principle

## Flashcards covering the Sets

## Practice tests covering the Sets

Probability Theory Practice Tests

Common Core: High School - Statistics and Probability Diagnostic Tests

## Set your student up with a qualified tutor who understands sets

Varsity Tutors will set your student up with a qualified tutor who understands sets. These tutors can explain concepts in new ways -- perhaps using your student's hobbies and interests to make math more engaging. They can even take into account your student's learning style and use appropriate teaching methods. Students have plenty of time to ask important questions during these 1-on-1 sessions, and they can take all the time they need to fully understand a concept before moving on to the next subject. Reach out today, speak with our Educational Directors, and learn more about the possibilities.

- GMAT Tutors
- Louisiana EOC Test Prep
- CompTIA Security+ Training
- IB Music HL Tutors
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Courses & Classes
- Audio Engineering Tutors
- Series 86 Test Prep
- CCNA Wireless - Cisco Certified Network Associate-Wireless Test Prep
- Series 53 Test Prep
- Kinyarwanda Tutors
- CLEP Introductory Business Law Courses & Classes
- Museum Studies Tutors
- MCSE - Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Courses & Classes
- A Level Urdu Tutors
- CompTIA Network+ Training
- CCENT - Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician Test Prep
- CLEP English Literature Test Prep
- CLEP Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present Tutors
- ARM - Associate in Risk Management Test Prep
- Series 30 Test Prep