Posts Tagged ‘probability’


Stranger Things Math: Eleven and the Galton Board

July 3, 2022

NOTE: Michael (above), who seems appropriately scary for this post, uses a commercial Galton Board.  It has one flaw. Many balls feed into the grid at once and this will change the pathways taken because the balls bump into one another. The best results come from dropping in the balls one at a time. If you had the patience to drop in 3,000 balls one at a time.


2D Random Walk or doing the Bell Curve Shuffle

July 28, 2021

This is the best Middle School Probability outdoor exercise  EVER!


1 coin per student. 


In the schoolyard, students move back and forward with the flip of a coin. Must be a good flip. This exercise works best with a grid drawn on the schoolyard in chalk, perhaps. (See pic below) If possible film the exercise from above.

Now here are lots of people doing this 2D random Walk on Wall St. The results are totally amazing.



Watch for the Bell Curve. It’s AWESOME.

This video was made by The National Museum of Mathematics NY.

Check out their Squared wheeled bike here.


3D Random Walk Math . . . . . . . . . . . . for Middle School

July 6, 2021

Random Walk math is both simple and complicated all at the same time. The math models are a little bit complicated but the concept is simple. 

Random walk math is used to model many processes in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Zoology, finance (Stock market movement), psychology, ecology,  computer science, and video games.

Simple Example:

Choices: Up, Down, N, S, E, W.

Note: We are still using constant step size and right-angle turns.

The random walk of one particle would look something like this from Mathworld:

In an infinite no. of steps the probability of reaching the starting point again is 0.3405373296 or about one-third. Mathematicians use math models to calculate the probability of a particle ending up here or there or back where it started. eg. It is less likely that the particle above would move in a straight line 500 times in a row. 

You can play with a 3D random walk generator here.

And check out this excellent video explaining a 3D Random Walk in nature.


Maths Mystery Box 5: FANTASY

February 23, 2015

Maths Mystery BOX 5


Middle school maths challenge

%, probability and a fight to the death

The REaping mathspig

Hunger Games Maths Survivor 1a

This problem is trickier than you think. You will need this information.

Major Major HINT

Hunger Games Maths Survivor ANSWER 1

Hunger Games Maths Survivor 2

Hunger Games Maths Survivor ANSWER 2

You will find more HUNGER GAMES maths including How long would it take you to bleed to death? here.