Mutating Messages

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Nick Jones and John Moriarty, as part of a research project into the evolution of sequences to develop a theory for the evolution of curves and functions, have produced a GCSE mathematics lesson, the objective of which is for students to understand that probability can be used to make guesses. This is called inference and has many real life applications such as weather prediction.

The video features students from Swinton High School who took part in a lesson in which a message, in the form of a picture of a graph, is passed along a network of students. Analysis is made of how the message changes as it travels along different branches of the network.

A detailed lesson plan accompanies the video. In the main activity, students play a game in which their actions are determined by rolling a die. The results are recorded on the worksheet. Students predict what they think will happen when the activity is repeated several times, analyse the class results and are encouraged to explain the outcomes using probabilities on a tree diagram.

Video reproduced with kind permission of Activideo.

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