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Deep in the Jungles

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: Humans are predisposed to seeing order and meaning in a world that too often presents random choices and chaotic evidence. Random events sometimes get linked into a meaningful, though ultimately bogus, scenario... At the same time, the mathematics of Ramsey theory demonstrates that patterns can, and indeed must, arise out of pure randomness and pure chance. Highly regular patterns exist in sufficiently large sets of randomly selected objects, whether they are gatherings of people, piles of pebbles, stars in the night sky, or sequences of numbers generated by the throw of a die.

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Problems/Puzzles, Articles
Math Topics: Patterns/Relationships, Chaos

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