Category Archives: Probability

What are the chances that a bird will poop on my car?

This question was posed as a scenario of mathematics in everyday life. Some googling led to Randall “XKCD” Munroe’s post here. Borrowing similar ideas leads to my own computation below. I park at an open air carpark for work. The … Continue reading

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The broken stick problem

A slick solution to the broken stick problem or otherwise known as the uncooked spaghetti problem

Posted in Geometry/Topology, Probability, Problems | Leave a comment

Is 0 even?

I first saw this from BBC news. The aftermath of hurricane Sandy resulted in a shortage of fuel and New York City had to implement an odd-even system. The following is taken from their press release: 1) Vehicles with license … Continue reading

Posted in Number Theory, Probability, Teaching | Leave a comment

Of Dice and Math

With apologies to steinbeck. An article by Posamentier on how he taught arithmetic of fractions through applications to dice games. There is often talk of making mathematics relevant to students. This is important, but only when it relates to the … Continue reading

Posted in Applications, Probability, Quotes/People, Teaching | Leave a comment

Binomial identity and probability

The identity [tex]\displaystyle \sum k \binom{n}{k} = n 2^{n-1} [/tex] is pretty standard, and one can prove it algebraically by cancelling the k in the sum with the binomial coefficient and then using the binomial theorem summation or a combinatorial … Continue reading

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Sicherman Dice

We all know the possible outcomes of throwing two usual six-sided dice. Have you ever wondered if there are other possible types of dice, i.e. still six-sided but with different face values, which gives the same outcome? The answer is … Continue reading

Posted in Combinatorics, Probability | 4 Comments

Reporter or reported innumeracy

In the midst of recession and oil prices falling from $145 to below $80, the ridiculous power company announced that electricity prices are going up by 21%, based forward oil pricing. The best thing is that our electricity are generated … Continue reading

Posted in Probability, Statistics | 2 Comments

Coincidences or just bad luck

How many times have you tried to search for a particular item and find that the only thing missing is the one that you want? Two years back, I was searching for a 1995 article in the Rocky Mountain Journal … Continue reading

Posted in Fun Stuff, Number Theory, Probability | 1 Comment