BehaviourComposer: ignore everything before this.
Here are a few models for exploring probabilities inspired by Seymour Papert's What’s the big idea? Toward a pedagogy of idea power. Note that NetLogo's model library also has an excellent collection of probability models.
Noisy shapes
Seymour writes:
This inspired a model in which a turtle draws by repeatedly going forward and turning. If the angle turned is small the shape looks like a circle. What is interesting about this program is that a range of values can be provided and the program chooses random values within the range. Different ranges can produce very different images. And some of these drawings are aesthetically appealing. While this model is not likely to be authored by a 5yearold it gives the sense of how adding random noise to a very simple program can result in very complex outcomes. A 3D version of this model adds tilting and rolling to the turtle's motion.
Sampling shapes
Seymour then imagines a program for controlling a robot that can make very good use of randomness. Rather than provide a virtual simulation of a robot I chose a different example: a model for estimating the area of shapes by random sampling.
Birthday coincidences
Seymour's third example is about exploring "the probability of a coincidence of birthdays in a class of N students". He suggests a use of turtles that inspired this model of for running birthday cooccurrence experiments.
