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ERIC Number: EJ867337
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0819-4564
Predicting Precipitation in Darwin: An Experiment with Markov Chains
Boncek, John; Harden, Sig
Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, v23 n2 p8-14 2009
As teachers of first-year college mathematics and science students, the authors are constantly on the lookout for simple classroom exercises that improve their students' analytical and computational skills. In this article, the authors outline a project entitled "Predicting Precipitation in Darwin." In this project, students: (1) analyze and manipulate raw precipitation data; (2) build a prediction model using a Markov chain; (3) predict the long term distribution of precipitation-free and rainy days in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; (4) use a chi-square test to evaluate the effectiveness of the model they have constructed; and (5) improve their prediction model. Beyond access to the Internet (to obtain the raw data) and a computer spreadsheet program or calculator, no special equipment is required. If the data is downloaded in advance, a well-prepared junior or senior high-school mathematics (or science) class should be able to perform this exercise in approximately 30-45 minutes of class time. (Contains 1 figure and 8 tables.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia