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Topic: Probability Software
Replies: 1   Last Post: May 23, 1996 4:41 PM

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Al Coons

Posts: 898
Registered: 12/4/04
Probability Software
Posted: May 22, 1996 2:47 PM
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Anyone have suggestions for Probability Simulation Software? I am running
Mac but either platform is worth knowing about. How about for the TI-82/83?

What follows are my notes on a session about teaching probability at NCTM San
Diego. The Prob Sim software mention in the final paragraph was wonderful.
Anyone use it? I am contacting the Author about buying his software. Will
let you know how.

Getting to the Important Stuff in Probability: Cliff Konold, UMass/Amherst

A+ thinker and presenter. Graduate work in how students perceive probability
in contrast to how we try to teach probability:

* Students often have an Outcome Approach to a probabilistic statement, i.e.
"Questions of probability are often interpreted as requests to predict the
outcome of a single trial."

Example 1: When asked to interpret a weather-person's statement that "there
is a 70% chance of rain today," and it does not rain, students often think
the weather-person is not good at his/her job. They reason since 70% is
close to 3/4 of the timexwhich is a lot more than 50% of the timexthe
prediction is that IT WILL RAIN. They map the prediction into a YES/NO

Example 2: Students think important features of a population should be
evident in a sample. For example, they would expect that a five flip
sequence of a coin would produce HTHTH more often than say, THTTH, since
there is a 50% likelihood or either an H or T.

* Showed a great, simple probability simulation program called Prob Sim
marketed by Intellimation. Simple, realistic - forces the user to break the
problem into sensible parts rather than creating one, all or nothing,
probabilistic expression for the answer.

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