The third type of basic simpification techniques, Reduce the Number, is the basis for a simplification technique I call Surround the Group. To introduce workshop participants to this useful technique, I ask them to do this simple, effective exercise. I give each student a handful of pennies, a piece of paper, and a black marker. Everybody puts the paper on the table and drops a handful of pennies from 3 or 4 inches above the paper. Random, unique patterns are formed by the pennies, as shown in the photo above.