Skip to main content

Students t distribution

Student's t distribution An important probability distribution used instead of the normal distribution when the standard deviation is estimated from data. Discovered by W. S. Gosset (`Student') in 1908, the t distribution gives wider confidence intervals than the normal distribution because of the uncertainty in the estimate of the standard deviation (see measures of variation). The probability values depend on an integer f, the number of degrees of freedom, which is the number associated with the estimate of the standard deviation. Tables of the t distribution are widely available, but algorithms for direct computation are relatively lengthy.

The most common applications are

(a) testing differences between means of two samples;

(b) testing differences from zero of estimated parameters in regression analysis and experimental design;

(c) evaluation of confidence intervals for means and other estimated quantities.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Students t distribution." A Dictionary of Computing. . 26 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Students t distribution." A Dictionary of Computing. . (March 26, 2019).

"Students t distribution." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved March 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.