Apple’s iTunes software has a “shuffle” feature that lets you listen to your songs in random order, but that hasn’t stopped the Internet from buzzing with complaints that iTunes is anything but
random — certain artists or genres tend to get grouped together, some songs never seem to get played, etc. But what, exactly, would a random
playlist look like?
In this lesson, students use probability to explore the idea of randomness, as well as the patterns that can emerge from random processes like shuffles. In other words, do random things actually feel
random? And is true randomness a desirable characteristic in a playlist?