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Digital Dice by Paul J. Nahin

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APPENDIX 4

Solving Montmort’s Problem by Recursion

An alternative, everyday formulation of the President/term matching problem discussed in the introduction is the so-called Dinner Problem :

 

Suppose n people are invited to a dinner party. Seats are assigned and a name card made for each guest. However, floral arrangements on the table unexpectedly obscure the name cards. When the n guests arrive, they seat themselves randomly [for a more precise explanation of just what “random seating” means, read on]. What is the probability that no guest sits in his or her assigned seat?

 

This is vos Savant’s president/term matching problem with the presidents ...

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