|by Bill Finzer|
Somewhat surprisingly, Sketchpad can model random phenomena. Interpreted as a statement of probablity, the common geometric phrase "given a point on line X" indicates a point chosen at random from a uniform distribution of possible points on X.Sketchpad's Point on Object command constructs a point at a randomly-chosen location 0n the selected object. You can take advantage of this to explore a variety of mathematical issues concerning randomness and probability.
Modeling a Random Walk
The Situation: The Errant Android
A robot's processor has gone haywire so that the robot cannot walk in a straight line. Each time the robot goes to take a step, it choose a direction completely at random. Each step it takes has the same length. We are interested in a model that will show how far the robot gets on the average after a given number of steps.
Begin your random walk on the next page.
© 1995 Key Curriculum Press