Search through the phone book using binary search to find a random business of the students choosing for an interactive way to demonstrate the power of binary search.

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  • Activity:
    • Give the class a phone book.
    • Tell the students to pick a business from the phone book, then leave the room so they can keep it a secret from you.
    • Come back into the room and tell students that you will find the business only by asking a series of yes or no questions.
      • Now, ask those yes or no questions, like does the business start with a letter between A and M.
    • Once you found the business, ask students how long it took to find the correct phone book entry.
    • Discuss if we could guarantee that we could guess the business within a particular number of guesses.