10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
This paper is from Session 6D: Role of Probability ‘Games’ in Learning
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 6: Innovations in teaching probability

Paper 6D2 (Thursday 12th, 16:00-17:30)

Extending introductory probability through games


  • Adam Molnar (Oklahoma State University, United States)



US undergraduate honors programs (and school gifted programs) often supplement mathematics and statistics instruction through small topic-specific seminars. Games of chance are a good supplemental topic, since games have historically driven innovation in probability, yet many concepts do not require calculus or heavy prerequisites. This paper summarizes lessons learned from offering a one-hour-per-week seminar to honors undergraduates simultaneously taking introductory statistics. The seminar included lessons on counting methods, expected value, player choice, player interaction, and game theory. Each lesson in mathematical probability was introduced through a game played by the students. After the lessons, the final group project involved analyzing a game. Games played are included, along with adaptation suggestions for other school levels and cultures.

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