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Fifty challenging problems in probability with solutions

Author: Frederick Mosteller
Publisher: New York : Dover Publications, 1987, ©1965.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Can you solve the problem of "The Unfair Subway?" Marvin gets off work at random times between 3 and 5 p.m. His mother lives uptown, his girl friend downtown. He takes the first subway that comes in either direction and eats dinner with the one he is first delivered to. his mother complains that he has never come to see her, but he says she has a 50-50 chance. He has had dinner with her twice in the last 20 working  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Problems and exercises
Problems, exercises, etc
Problèmes et exercices
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Frederick Mosteller
ISBN: 0486653552 9780486653556
OCLC Number: 15084796
Notes: Reprint. Originally published: Reading, MA : Addison-Wesley, 1965. Originally published in series: A-W series in introductory college mathematics.
Description: viii, 88 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: 1. The sock drawer --
2. Successive wins --
3. The flippant juror --
4. Trials until first success --
5. Coin in square --
6. Chuck-a-luck --
7. Curing the compulsive gambler --
8. Perfect bridge hand --
9. Craps --
10. An experiment in personal taste for money --
11. Silent cooperation --
12. Quo vadis? --
13. The prisoner's dilemma --
14. Collecting coupons, including Euler's approximation for harmonic sums --
15. The theater row --
16. Will second-best be runner-up? --
17. Twin knights --
18. An even split at coin tossing, including Stirling's approximation --
19. Isaac Newton helps Samuel Pepys --
20. The three-cornered duel --
21. Should you sample with or without replacement? --
22. The ballot box --
23. Ties in matching pennies --
24. The unfair subway --
25. Lengths of random chords --
26. The hurried duelers --
27. Catching the cautious counterfeiter --
28. Catching the greedy counterfeiter, including the Poisson distribution --
29. Moldy gelatin --
30. Evening the sales --
31. Birthday pairings --
32. Finding your birthmate --
33. Relating the birthday pairings and birthmate problems --
34. Birthday holidays --
35. The cliff-hanger --
36. Gambler's ruin --
37. Bold play vs. cautious play --
38. The thick coin 39. The clumsy chemist --
40. The first ace --
41. The locomotive problem --
42. The little end of the stick --
43. The broken bar --
44. Winning an unfair game --
45. Average number of matches --
46. Probabilities of matches --
47. Choosing the largest dowry --
48. Choosing the largest random numuber --
49. Doubling your accuracy --
50. Random quadratic equations --
51. Two-dimensional random walk --
52. Three-dimensional random walk --
53. Buffon's needle --
54. Buffon's needle with horizontal and vertical rulings --
55. Long needles --
56. Molina's urns.
Responsibility: Frederick Mosteller.
More information:

Abstract:

Can you solve the problem of "The Unfair Subway?" Marvin gets off work at random times between 3 and 5 p.m. His mother lives uptown, his girl friend downtown. He takes the first subway that comes in either direction and eats dinner with the one he is first delivered to. his mother complains that he has never come to see her, but he says she has a 50-50 chance. He has had dinner with her twice in the last 20 working days. Explain. Marvin's adventures in probability are one of fifty intriguing puzzlers that illustrate both elementary and advanced aspects of probability, each problem designed to challenge the mathematically inclined. From "The Flippant Juror" and "The Prisoner's Dilemma" to "The Cliffhanger" and "The Clumsy Chemist," they provide an ideal supplement to courses in probability and statistics as well as a lively source of amusement for all who enjoy the stimulating fun of mathematics. Professor Frederick Mosteller, who teaches statistics at Harvard University, has chosen the problems for originality, general interest or because they demonstrate valuable techniques. In addition, the problems are graded as to difficulty and many have considerable stature. Indeed, one has "enlivened the research lives of many excellent mathematicians." Detailed solutions are included. There is every probability you'll need at least a few of them. -- from back cover.

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