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Statistical Outliers Impossible in Small Samples

October 13th, 2013 2 comments

How many pieces of data are needed before it’s possible for one of them to be an Outlier?

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My trip to Alicante: “X Jornades d’Educació Matemàtica”

November 24th, 2012 No comments

This post tells the story of my trip to Alicante, Spain in October 2012 to deliver the opening lecture at the 10th Conference on Mathematical Education, held at the University of Alicante and organised by the Societat d’Educacio Matematica Comunitat Valenciana (SEMCV) Al Khwarizmi. The talk was entitled, “The Value of Dynamic Geometry in Modern Education and Problem Solving in GeoGebra.”

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“Higher or Lower” – Easy card game? Part I

September 5th, 2009 3 comments

Higher or Lower

I was recently roped into joining some friends for a pub quiz.  I hate pub quizzes.  For a start, I don’t watch soaps or football or take any interest in divorcing celebrities.  The sum total of my contribution is usually a question about the periodic table and another about some obscure ’90’s one-hit wonder.

At the end of this particular quiz there was a competition to win a pot of dosh.  Those optimistic enough to enter first had to be lucky enough to have their number drawn from a hat, and then attempt to win the ominous game of Higher or Lower, or “Play Your Cards Right” as it is sometimes known, via a crudely written flash program running on the host’s laptop.  If you win the game, you win the cash.  Easy?  Apparently not.  Two players failed in succession and then the host declared that the contents of the pot would roll over to next week.  Almost everyone in the pub had just lost a quid.  Would anyone ever win the money?  I didn’t know, but I was alarmed and it was my duty to discover the probability of winning this game.

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We all deserve to see it…

July 27th, 2009 7 comments

…the secret garden of maths.

Romanesco Fractal Broccoli

Romanesco "Fractal" Broccoli

 

Dear reader,

My name is Micky Bullock and I am, amongst other things, a concerned mathematician.  Read more…