Visualising Chance: Learning probability through modelling

Stephanie Budgett (University of Auckland)

Friday 4th May, 2018 15:00-16:00 Maths 311B


Random events and chance phenomena permeate our lives and environments. Probabilistic reasoning is needed to help us operate sensibly and optimally in the face of uncertainty due to the randomness in processes. However, current teaching of probability is mainly based on a mathematical approach, paying insufficient attention to modelling, connecting data and chance, and simulating realistic problems. A modelling approach promises to make transparent concepts of the nature and effects of randomness, often inaccessible within the formal framework of mathematical probability.

In this seminar, I will describe an exploratory study aiming to learn how to build introductory university students’ conceptual understanding of probability and how to orientate their thinking towards an approach more closely aligned with practice. I will demonstrate the software tools that we have developed, discuss some preliminary findings, and talk about future directions.

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