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Digital Dice by Paul J. Nahin

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8. A Toilet Paper Dilemma

No job is over until all the paperwork is done.

—Graffiti written on at least half of all college dorm bathroom stalls in America

Up to now all the problems in this book have been studied with the aid of Monte Carlo simulations run on a computer. Not all probability problems that a computer is useful on use the Monte Carlo approach, however, and this problem is an example of that. A quarter-century ago Donald Knuth (look back at the Gamow-Stern elevator problem) published a paper in the American Mathematical Monthly ...

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