Make your own abstract art

Can one use the past to predict the future, the left side of a graph to predict the right, see a trend in noise? Are 3 coin flips that fall heads (HHH), 4 stock wins (WWWW), 5 roulette reds (RRRRR), 6 Yankee losses (LLLLLL) random? In fact, 3 heads occurs about 13% of the time, 4 stock wins 6%, 5 reds 3%, and the Yankees, well, they never seem to lose more than two in a row.

Here, 5 colours in a 10 x 10 grid show that randomness isn't always so and that a "pattern" can be entirely random.

The Math and Art of Randomness

When you spin the dial, 5 colours are chosen randomly for each of 100 squares. As you can see, blocks of the same colours appear, apparently not random, yet just as random as any other configuration. Spin the colours and make your very own Richter, Hurst, or Mondrian painting (screen capture to download). And see how not to be caught out by the randomness of nature. For more examples of seemingly unrandom randomness, check out Chapters 4-8 in Do The Math!

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For the original International Year of Statistics article [pdf]: Patterns in Probability

For a time-looped video version to the sounds of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme: Music, Math, Mayhem

For a 2-colour version: Abstract Art 2C

Do the Math! On Growth, Greed, and Strategic Thinking

John K. White
Softcover, 350 pages, Sage Publications (2012)

Better numeracy, Do-it-yourself analysis, Social inclusiveness, Foster critical and strategic thinking, Uncomplicated mathematical discussion

Our world has become more complicated, and the notion of growth at any cost has led to constant economic uncertainty, a permanently stressed-out workforce, and everyday stories of government and corporate abuse. John K. White argues that a better knowledge of basic systems is needed to understand the world we live in, from pyramid scams to government bailouts, from sports leagues to stock markets, from the everyday to the seemingly complex.

   John K White