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Learning Math Home
Data Session 8, Part D: Are You a Random Player?
Session 8 Part A Part B Part C Part D Homework
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Session 8 Materials:

Session 8, Part D:
Are You a Random Player? (20 minutes)

In This Part: Developing the Mathematical Probability | Comparing Mathematical and
Experimental Probability

Let's return to the statistics question we considered in Part A: Can a person develop skill at playing a game of chance like Push Penny? Note 9

Let's say that a very determined person played 100 rounds of Push Penny with the following results (the number of hits out of four pushes per round):

Note: This is an ordered list (i.e., the first round was three hits out of four pushes, the second was two out of four, and so on).

Do these results suggest that our player has developed skill in playing the game? How might we analyze these data to answer this question? One approach would be to compare these 100 scores to the scores for a player who has no skill -- in other words, a player who is just making "random" pushes.

In order to do this, you must have a description of a random player -- specifically, you need to know the probability that a random push will hit a line.

Problem D1


What do you think the probability is that a random push will hit a line? Remember that each line is exactly two coin diameters apart. It may be helpful to experiment with a quarter on your Push Penny board and to examine this illustration. What percentage of the total area of the board is shaded?

Next > Part D (Continued): Comparing Mathematical and Experimental Probability

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