The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Spotify and Random Number Generators

(October 12, 2017) “Everybody get a partner. Take a piece of paper. Take a pencil. Number your paper 1-30. You’re all going to flip a coin 30 times. In each partnership, decide which person will flip a real coin and which person will flip an imaginary coin.” That got their attention! I needed to harness their attention because many of…

Read More→

OPEN Q’s #6: Liar’s Dice

(May 26, 2016)  Split into 3 teams.  Each team gets 5 dice.  Roll them all, look at them, but don’t let the other team see them.  The first team makes a 2-digit bid.  The first digit of the bid is your prediction of the total number of dice of a certain value every team combined has.  The second digit is…

Read More→

Insuring your Soul (Math Circle Teens 3)

Insuring your Soul (Math Circle Teens 3) NOVEMBER 19, 2013 Imagine you are an adult professional gambler and have the opportunity to play the following game: “Pay $10 to roll a 5-sided die.  You win nothing if you roll a 1, 2, or 3; you get $20 for a 4 and $25 for a 5.  Should you play?” After debating…

Read More→

Insuring your Bed (Teen Circle 2)

  Insuring your Bed November 12, 2013 “What is your most valuable possession?” asked Raissa Schickel, our guest instructor. “Probably my bed,” responded a student.  Raissa went on to use “bed insurance” as an example as she explained the job of an actuary.  That job is to price insurance in a way that is not discriminatory (fair), not excessive (not…

Read More→

Math Circle Blog: The Monty Hall Problem

The Monty Hall Problem You are a contestant on a game show.  The host shows you 3 doors.  He tells you that the prize behind one door is $1,000,000 and behind each of the other doors is a goat.  He instructs you to choose a door; you will win whatever is behind it.  You choose a door.  “But wait,” he…

Read More→

Math Circle Blog: Infinity, the Prime Directive, and Perplexity

It’s Good to be Perplexed in Math N came up to the board a number of times as we continued last week’s probability problem.*  D had planned to start class with a new approach, but didn’t because his ideas had changed over the week.  N first came up to question the possibility of actually choosing chords randomly.  He suggested an…

Read More→

Math Circle Blog: Problems in Probability

Answers Usually Boil Down to How You Defined the Terms in Your Question October 2, 2012: “Death is a constant.” Or at least so claimed most of our group, after R had contributed “12 inches per foot” and G “60 seconds per minute” to our list of constants. At that point, S had argued that “60 seconds per minute” is…

Read More→