don steward
mathematics teaching 10 ~ 16

Friday, 15 November 2019

Galton's quincunx

a neat introduction to theoretical probability distributions, starting experimentally

a ppt is here

teacher's guide

Sir Francis Galton
1822 ~ 1911

lived in Birmingham, UK

related to Charles Darwin

sometimes called a bean machine or a pinball machine

with a 4-row pinboard

with different numbers of rows you obtain probabilities from a row of Pascal's triangle (over an appropriate power of 2)

why Pascal's triangle works, in this context
Pascal's triangle was known about long before Pascal...

sheets for students to record their experimental and then, later, the theoretical pathways:

there are various electronic versions of this on the net, that can be used for longer run simulations

these are from the 'math is fun' simulation
this is here

in spite of what books tell you, this illustrates how longer run experimental probabilities do not necessarily lead to more accurate results!

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