Showing posts with label numberphile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label numberphile. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Monty Hall Problem - A Math Lesson

The Monty Hall Problem is a Numberphile video in which Lisa Goldberg, an adjunct professor in the Department of Statistics at UC, Berkeley explains why over the long-run contestants on Let's Make a Deal should have always switched doors. Numberphile published a short version and a long version of this video. The long version explains the mathematics behind the strategy that Goldberg suggests. Both videos are embedded below.



Applications for Education
As I watched these videos I thought about a couple of ways to use them in a mathematics lesson.

I would present the scenario to students and ask them for their ideas about whether or not a contestant should switch doors. Then I would show the video as part of the explanation to the problem.

Another way to use these videos is in conjunction with a hands-on lesson in which students survey schoolmates during lunch or after school. Your students could create a simple three choice game, eliminate one choice, then ask if the player wants to stick or switch. The data that students gather through this activity could be used by them to determine what they think is the best strategy. Show the video explanation after the data is collected and the students have shared their data-based strategies.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Calculating Pi With Real Pies

Tomorrow is Pi Day! To celebrate Pi Day, Numberphile has released a fun video about calculating Pi with real pies. The three minute and fourteen second video explains Pi and how it can be calculated. An extended version of the video will be available tomorrow to those who subscribe to the Numberphile YouTube channel.



After showing the video above, you might want to follow up with this video, How Pi Was Nearly Changed to 3.2.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Numberphile - Videos About Curious Number Facts

Numberphile is a neat YouTube channel about fun number facts. There are currently thirty-three videos in the Numberphile collection. The videos cover things like 998,001 and its Mysterious Recurring Decimals, Pi and Bouncing Balls, and 1 and Prime Numbers. I've embedded Pi and Bouncing Balls below.

For some reason these videos reminded me of the old Mathnet show that I used to watch on PBS in the 80's. So of course I had to see if Mathnet was on YouTube, it is! A quick search for Mathnet on YouTube will take you to multiple full-length episodes of Mathnet. Here's the pilot episode.



Applications for Education
Numberphile's videos could be a fun way for students to explore and learn some fun facts about numbers. Perhaps you have a student whose thinks the way I did in high school, I wasn't good at math, but I did like and still do like fun facts about numbers (or any fun fact about anything). A fun number fact could be the "hook" to get that student interested in an aspect of mathematics.