Welcome to the 30th Anja S. Greer Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology being held June 22 - June 27, 2014 at Phillips Exeter Academy. If this is your first time to the conference, use our interactive map to get to know the campus. Registration is held at the Phelps Academy Center and classes are primarily in the Phelps Science Center or the Academy Center.  You can find your dorm by using the buiding filters.  Your conference "Welcome Letter" includes your dorm assignment.  Please note on the map, the dorms are listed as male or female.  The gender assignment of the dorms may change the week of the conference based on our needs.  
     Using the schedule below, you can build your individual schedule by clicking on the "star" of the sessions you will attend.  For your (2) weeklong courses, please refer to your "Welcome Letter" for courses listed by period.  
     Our Conference within a Conference (CWIC) sessions are included in this schedule.  During your free time, you can attend as many CWIC sessions as you’d like. You do not have to pre-register for CWIC sessions, these are open to all to attend.  Just "star" the sessions you are interested in attending. Your individual schedule will be created.  You can print it or push it to a mobile device.

Back To Schedule
Monday, June 23 • 3:45pm - 4:30pm
Bring American History Into The Math Classroom: Teach Probability With Punchboards

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Gambling takes on many forms. A fascinating part of American gambling history is the Punchboard. Though now illegal for gambling, punchboards can be brought into math class to enhance an introduction to probability. A typical punchboard is made of pressed cardboard, anywhere from 3 by 5 inches up to 11 by 17 inches and about an inch thick. It has lots of small holes drilled in it, perhaps as many as 2000. Each hole contains a tiny piece of folded paper with a number on it and each hole would be covered with paper or foil. The rules for each board would be printed on the board along with a colorful theme/story about something that was popular in America at the time. Between 1910 and 1960, in states where they were legal, punchboards were commonly found in stores and bars. A customer would pay money for the opportunity to punch out one of the papers hidden in the holes. If the number on the hidden paper matched a winning number as described on the board, the patron wins. Winnings often were money, candy, or cigarettes. Because the winning numbers and their payouts are stated on the board, probabilities and expected values are relatively easy to calculate. This makes punchboards an excellent way to introduce probability to our students. It's hard to get students excited when we use contrived data out of a textbook. But when I take my colorful punchboards out of the cupboard and let them punch out a few of the hidden papers, all my students are motivated, curious, and attentive.


Stuart Moskowitz

Retired, Humboldt State University Math Dept
Stuart loves to play with puzzles when he's not teaching math. Even more, Stuart loves to use puzzles to teach math. Besides puzzles, Stuart has a passion for history and technology as ways to make math come alive for students. Throughout Stuart's 20 years teaching teacher-prep courses... Read More →

Monday June 23, 2014 3:45pm - 4:30pm EDT
Grainger Hall

Attendees (0)