Education Technology

To Toss or To Simulate?

Published on 08/17/2010

Activity Overview

Students use the RandInt() command to simulate the tossing of a coin and the rolling of a die. They will collect data for several trials and use the information to investigate the Law of Large Numbers.

Key Steps

  • Image

    Students are introduced to using the Random Integer command to simulate an experiment. First, they will explore the difference between entering the command randint(0,1) five times and entering randint(0,1,5).

  • Image

    Then, students will use the RandInt command in a spreadsheet to simulate the tossing of a coin for various number of trials. The bar graph on the right side of the screen will help them count the number of heads for trial.

  • Image

    After all the data has been collected, students will calculate the percent of heads and create a scatter plot of percent of heads versus number of tosses. They can graph the theoretical probability as a horizontal line for comparison.