catscan4 ## The mathematical CAT scan

## 4. The Poker-chip CAT scan

The computations in my numerical simulation were done by hand except for the totals, but the graphics required *Maple*. A low-tech and even cruder but still illustrative simulation can be done with a checkerboard (for the grid) and poker chips (for tallying).

To keep the numbers reasonable we have to work with a smallgrid: 4x4. This is one quarter of a standard checkerboard. As``objects'' we can take various letters of the alphabet, e.g.

0110 1000 11111001 1111 10001111 1001 10001001 1111 1111

For ``A'' the line totals will be (in the same order as before)

2222 0120 0222 0221 3223 1220 2220 02102222 2012 2222 1101 3223 1011 2222 21024444 1221 2221 2211 3223 1122 1222 12212222 2101 2211 1011 3223 1101 1122 1012

As before, applying the dual transform means adding up these 8 tables square-wise. A ``manipulative'' way to perform this addition is to set down a layer of poker chips for each table. At the end the heights of the stacks should be:

8 15 15 815 10 10 1515 17 17 1513 9 9 13

and the ``A'' should be recognizable.

This simulation required 204 poker chips.

Welcome to the
Feature Column!

These web essays are designed for those who have already discovered the joys of mathematics as well as for those who may be uncomfortable with mathematics.

Read more . . .

Feature Column at a glance