SOCR EduMaterials Activities DiceSampleExperiment

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Dice Sample Experiment


The experiment consists of rolling n dice, each governed by the same probability distribution. You can specify the die distribution by clicking on the die probability button; this button brings up the die probability dialog box. You can define your own distribution by typing probabilities into the text fields of the dialog box, or you can click on one of the buttons in the dialog box to specify one of the following special distributions: Fair 1-6 flat 2-5 flat 3-4 flat skewed left skewed right

The number of dice can be varied with a scroll bar. The scores of each die are recorded in the table.


To provide a simulation of random processes with distribution tables and graphs. It allows flexibility as the user can vary parameters of the experiment and thus increasing the user’s understanding of the main concepts.


Go to the SOCR Experiment [[1]] and select the Dice Sample Experiment from the drop-down list of experiments on the top left. The image below shows the initial view of this experiment:

SOCR Activities DiceSampleExperiment Chui 051807 Fig1.jpg

When pressing the play button, one trial will be executed and recorded in the distribution table below. The fast forward button symbolizes the nth number of trials to be executed each time. The stop button ceases any activity and is helpful when the experimenter chooses “continuous,” indicating an infinite number of events. The fourth button will reset the entire experiment, deleting all previous information and data collected. The “update” scroll indicates nth number of trials (1, 10, 100, or 1000) performed when selecting the fast forward button and the “stop” scroll indicates the maximum number of trials in the experiment.

Note that varying the dialog box changes the probability for each number of the die. The image below demonstrates this property when selecting the skewed right distribution in the dialog box:

SOCR Activities DiceSampleExperiment Chui 051807 Fig2.jpg


The Dice Sample Experiment is an applet that generalizes the important of experiments involving discrete variables. It allows users to understand the different outcomes when drawing the selected random variables with varying probabilities.

This applet may also be used in place of other activities that occur in daily lives:

Suppose a gambler wants to test his luck in a casino. There are n slot machines he can choose from, each with a different probability of winning. With this applet, he will be able to analytically display his chances of winning for each slot machine.

Suppose researchers want to be able to illustrate the basic concepts of rain percentage for each month in the year. They allow each number of the dice to represent two months out of the year, setting distinct probabilities for every one of them.

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