28 November 2007

The binomial pinball machine

The Binomial Pinball Machine, from Kim Moser's repository of videos of Commodore 64 programs, via the Statistics Consulting Blog.



It's too bad the video stops before you actually start seeing a decent approximation to the normal distribution.

By the way, I almost named this blog quincunx, which is a name for this machine, but I decided that people might have trouble spelling it.

7 comments:

Brent Yorgey said...

That's pretty cool, but the kids singing in Chinese to the tune of "Rondo Alla Turca" is... sort of surreal. What are they singing about?

kovai said...

Wow!

I did see a real-life quincunx once, in a science museum somewhere... if I could only remember where.

What I do remember is thinking "Hey, that's a Gaussian" before remembering that a) the CDFs actually look similar and b) For large enough n, and some condition on p, a binomial approximates a Gaussian.

Great blog!

Isabel said...

Kovai,

there's one at the Museum of Science in Boston, which has a quite nice mathematics exhibit.

John Armstrong said...

Well, besides the fact that "quincunx" sounds vaguely dirty...

Say, did you change your comments settings, or did Google do that for you? I evidently can't give my name and URL like I used to.

Isabel said...

John,

I didn't change anything; it looks like Google made some changes, which I didn't notice. Although I haven't looked too deeply, I assume that the people who have their names linked have Google accounts.

And "quincunx" sounds vaguely dirty, yes, but that could be positive or negative.

John Armstrong said...

Just testing something here, to see if this works...

John Armstrong said...

Nope. It seems Blogger no longer allows commenters to link to their own weblogs unless they, too, are on Blogger. Damn you Sergei!