Two stories caught my imagination today. One is a geometry program akin to something like Geometer’s Sketchpad, KIG (for KDE Interactive Geometry), described by an article in Linux Journal. The KDE EDU project has a number of great programs available for education.

The other is an idea for talking about averages, expectation, and probability. It uses the TV show “Deal or no Deal” as backdrop, trying to evaluate whether or not to accept the Banker’s deal. I got the idea while reading an issue of Linux Journal with an article by Dave Taylor (subscription required). To my taste the implementation in shell script is a might obscure. I would probably use Python to craft the solution while students described how to calculate the various quantities, as the notation appears (or could be made to appear with a few prior function definitions) more mathematical. The program would ask which boxes we opened and progressively give updated statistics on the likelihood of winning it big.

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