Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 3 - "Traffic" - What is Random

Published on 12/07/2006

Activity Overview

In "Traffic", Charlie lectures about randomness, explaining that 'our brains misperceive evenness as random and wrongly assume that groupings are deliberate'. In mathematics, we expect to see some clustering, or an occasional appearance of a pattern, when examining truly random events. In this activity, students will distinguish between randomness and evenness and estimate the area of a circle using random points.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page. Download the attached TI-Navigator files for use during the lesson.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class. Share the attached CLUSTER calculator program for students to check their work.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore Web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.