Galton Board Design Wows Department of Statistics

Galton Board Design Wows Department of Statistics

As part of the Department of Statistics’ official opening celebrations of their new home on St Giles, the Department of Earth Sciences Workshop have designed and built a 5-foot Galton Board to display in the main Reception area.

The Galton Board is a statistical tool invented by Sir James Galton to demonstrate probability. Random inputs – in this case balls dropped at the top of the board, passing a number of pins, with 50% chance of going left or right at each pin – will naturally fall into a pattern of outcomes known as the ‘normal curve’.

The board provides a striking interactive display for visitors, and will prove particularly useful during schools visits. Schools Liaison Officer for the Department of Statistics, Mareli Grady, who commissioned the board, explains: Our move into our new building provided a fantastic opportunity to commission a physical display to engage visitors in Statistical concepts.  The board has already attracted much interest within the department, and led to some interesting discussions along with providing some entertainment!””

Workshop Manager at the Department of Earth Sciences, Jamie Long, designed and built the board. “The workshop offers a bureau service for one-off items such as this, as well as small consumables and more technical machinery. We have facilities for CAD design, CNC milling, woodwork, metal work, plastics and painting, so we were able to do the whole job in-house. The design for this piece was particularly interesting, as it required very precise placement of the pins, we had to factor in a high level of user safety, and of course, it needed to be an eye-catching design.”

The new home for the Department of Statistics was officially opened last week. Schools wishing to visit the department should contact the Schools Liaison Officer, Mareli Grady, via email: schools.liaison@stats.ox.ac.uk.

Further details of the Workshop facilities are available online: www.earth.ox.ac.uk/research/facilities/workshop/

Enquiries should be directed to the Workshop Manager, Jamie Long, via email: jamie.long@earth.ox.ac.uk