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Star Library: Counting Eights: A First Activity in the Study and Interpretation of Probability

Students explore the definition and interpretations of the probability of an event by investigating the long run proportion of times a sum of 8 is obtained when two balanced dice are rolled repeatedly. Making use of hand calculations, computer simulations, and descriptive techniques, students encounter the laws of large numbers in a familiar setting. By working through the exercises, students will gain a deeper understanding of the qualitative and quantitative relationships between theoretical probability and long run relative frequency. Particularly, students investigate the proximity of the relative frequency of an event to its probability and conclude, from data, the order on which the dispersion of the relative frequency diminishes. Key words: probability, law of large numbers, simulation, estimation
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Author Name: 
Bradley A. Hartlaub and Brian D. Jones
Technical Requirements: 
Source Code Available: 
Source Code Not Available
Intended User Role: 
Teacher, Author
Resource Type: 
Free for All

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