Pascal's Triangle

Anyone can win, or can they? The carnival clown game looks easy until students discover the odds are stacked against them. This seminar is the second in a series about probability and games of chance. This activity helps students understand how math works for the carnival operator and how appearances can be deceptive. Students apply their powers of prediction and then calculate actual results, using mathematical reasoning to break through the lure of the game.


Faculty: Michael Pattison - Math 8

Dates Offered

March 15, 2019
April 5, 2019

Explore More

Interested in exploring this topic more deeply?

  • Go to: Secrets of Pascal’s Triangle  This four-minute video provides a clear and fascinating description of the mathematical mysteries of Pascal’s triangle.

  • At home: Consider these math games for your next family game night.

  • Road trip: Visiting the windy city? Stop by Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and visit their exhibit Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze.

Why Pascal?

This seminar serves as a follow-up to the previous seminar about probability and provides students with the opportunity to dig even deeper into questions about prediction and statistics. Students learn that math can help describe and even anticipate everyday events.