This short article gives an outline of the origins of Morse code and its inventor and how the frequency of letters is reflected in the code they were given.
In this short problem, can you deduce the likely location of the odd ones out in six sets of random numbers?
Is the age of this very old man statistically believable?
This problem will help students to understand the concept of a probability distribution: various results are possible, and each result occurs with a certain probable frequency. It will help students to understand that there is some structure in random processes, even though individual parts of the problem are random.
Cut out the 16 grids and ask students to work in pairs to group the numbers into four sets of four.
Once the students have grouped the pairs ask them to explain in turns to the rest of the group the reasoining behind their grouping. Encourage them to present their arguments as clearly as possible. Do the others agree or disagree? Can the others refine their argument?
Once the cards are sorted, can students suggest the probability distributions from which the cards were drawn? They can use the distribution maker interactivity to help.
Can you suggest possible distributions from which the numbers on each card were drawn? Can you suggest distributions from which the cards were unlikely or impossible to be drawn?