# Consecutive Heads or Tails

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For a homework assignment in a statistics course, half the class was asked to record the actual results of 100 coin tosses while the other half was asked to fake the same results by writing down what they thought might be a reasonable random sequence of heads and tails. With only a quick glance at a student's homework, the professor was able to determine whether the statistics were real or faked, with 90% accuracy! The giveaway clue was the occurrence of runs of 5, 6 or even 7 consecutive heads or tails. These are likely to occur in actual sequences, contrary to some naive intuitive notions about randomness.

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Contributed by: S. M. Blinder (March 2011)

Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

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"Consecutive Heads or Tails"

http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/ConsecutiveHeadsOrTails/

Wolfram Demonstrations Project

Published: March 7 2011