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ERIC Number: EJ867463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Investigating the Randomness of Numbers
Pendleton, Kenn L.
Mathematics Teacher, v103 n5 p364-370 Dec 2009
The use of random numbers is pervasive in today's world. Random numbers have practical applications in such far-flung arenas as computer simulations, cryptography, gambling, the legal system, statistical sampling, and even the war on terrorism. Evaluating the randomness of extremely large samples is a complex, intricate process. However, the randomness of small samples can be investigated in the classroom with a relatively simple technique. This article demonstrates the technique of combining the results of two tests--(1) the test of the mean; and (2) the test of the distribution--by investigating some samples. The author explores an application of the technique and an illustration of the technique's limitation. In conclusion, a combination of two tests--one comparing a sample mean with its population mean and another comparing the sample's distribution with that of its population--can help assess whether a sample is likely to be random. (Contains 5 tables.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A