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Digital Dice by Paul J. Nahin

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20. An Optimal Stopping Problem

The central idea of this problem has been around in the mathematical world since 1875, when the English mathematician Arthur Cayley (1821–1895) proposed something similar in the form of a lottery problem.1 That problem does not follow the exact same rules that we have in our dating game problem, and so at least one writer has concluded Cayley’s problem doesn’t count as a historical precedent, but I don’t agree. You can make up your own mind.2 It is generally agreed, however, that our problem became widely ...

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