Applied Probability Summary

Monday - Friday, July 9 - 13, 2007

We started the week in the Undergraduate Faculty program, with David Levin going over random walks on a torus and couplings. The next day, Tuesday, Elizabeth Wilmer presented to the UFP and switched gears, going over random walks on graphs - this was a far more practical example and gave us a lot to think about in our second hour. We decided at that point to split into two sections: one would continue to go to the lecture while the other would look more deeply into bringing the material to an accessible level for students.

So, on Thursday and Friday, one section sat down and went over developing situations that would require the use of Markov Chains, looking at what requisite knowledge our students would need. While, in the background, the developer needs to think about eigenvectors and eigenvalues, we are looking to introducing it through the use of games, so that students would see that random behavior can still develop a predictable outcome.

The other group attended the UFP lecture for an additional day and then joined the other section, although taking the specific situation of card shuffling. They have already developed an outline of their unit and are eager to start filling in the empty spaces.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.