Tug O' War - baron m.

Season's greetings Sir R-----! Come take a glass of mulled wine to warm your spirits on this chill winter's night!

Will you also accept a wager to warm your blood?

It gladdens my heart to hear so sir!

I propose a game that oft puts me in mind of the banquet held in the great hall upon Mount Olympus to which I was invited as the guest of honour by Zeus himself!

Full text...  

What's The Lucky Number? - a.k.

Over the last few months we have been looking at Bernoulli processes which are sequences of Bernoulli trails, being observations of a Bernoulli distributed random variable with a success probability of p. We have seen that the number of failures before the first success follows the geometric distribution and the number of failures before the rth success follows the negative binomial distribution, which are the discrete analogues of the exponential and gamma distributions respectively.
This time we shall take a look at the binomial distribution which governs the number of successes out of n trials and is the discrete version of the Poisson distribution.

Full text...  

On We Three Kings - student

Recall that the Baron's most recent game involved advancing kings from the first and last ranks of a three by three chequerboard in a pawn-like manner until either he or Sir R----- reached the opposing rank or blocked all of the other's kings from moving, having the game in either eventuality.

Full text...  

Bad Luck Comes In Ks - a.k.

Lately we have been looking at Bernoulli processes which are sequences of independent experiments, known as Bernoulli trials, whose successes or failures are given by observations of a Bernoulli distributed random variable. Last time we saw that the number of failures before the first success was governed by the geometric distribution which is the discrete analogue of the exponential distribution and, like it, is a memoryless waiting time distribution in the sense that the distribution for the number of failures before the next success is identical no matter how many failures have already occurred whilst we've been waiting.
This time we shall take a look at the distribution of the number of failures before a given number of successes, which is a discrete version of the gamma distribution which defines the probabilities of how long we must wait for multiple exponentially distributed events to occur.

Full text...  

Further Still On A Very Cellular Process - student

My fellow students and I have lately been spending our spare time experimenting with cellular automata, which are simple mathematical models of single celled creatures such as amoebas, governing their survival and reproduction from one generation to the next according to the population of their neighbourhoods. In particular, we have been considering an infinite line of boxes, some of which contain living cells, together with rules that specify whether or not a box will be populated in the next generation according to its, its left hand neighbour's and its right hand neighbour's contents in the current generation.
We have found that for many such automata we can figure the contents of the boxes in any generation that evolved from a single cell directly, in a few cases from the oddness or evenness of elements in the rows of Pascal's triangle and the related trinomial triangle, and in several others from the digits in terms of sequences of binary fractions.
We have since turned our attention to the evolution of generations from multiple cells rather then one; specifically, from an initial generation in which each box has an even chance of containing a cell or not.

Full text...  

If At First You Don't Succeed - a.k.

Last time we took a first look at Bernoulli processes which are formed from a sequence of independent experiments, known as Bernoulli trials, each of which is governed by the Bernoulli distribution with a probability p of success. Since the outcome of one trial has no effect upon the next, such processes are memoryless meaning that the number of trials that we need to perform before getting a success is independent of how many we have already performed whilst waiting for one.
We have already seen that if waiting times for memoryless events with fixed average arrival rates are continuous then they must be exponentially distributed and in this post we shall be looking at the discrete analogue.

Full text...  

We Three Kings - baron m.

Sir R----- my fine friend! Will you take a glass of perry with me to cool yourself from this summer heat?

Good man!

Might I also presume that you are in the mood for a wager?

Stout fellow!

I suggest a game that ever puts me in mind of that time in my youth when I squired for the warrior king Balthazar during his pilgrimage with kings Melchior and Caspar to the little town of Bethlehem.

Full text...  

One Thing Or Another - a.k.

Several years ago we took a look at memoryless processes in which the probability that we should wait for any given length of time for an event to occur is independent of how long we have already been waiting. We found that this implied that the waiting time must be exponentially distributed, that the waiting time for several events must be gamma distributed and that the number of events occuring in a unit of time must be Poisson distributed.
These govern continuous memoryless processes in which events can occur at any time but not those in which events can only occur at specified times, such as the roll of a die coming up six, known as Bernoulli processes. Observations of such processes are known as Bernoulli trials and their successes and failures are governed by the Bernoulli distribution, which we shall take a look at in this post.

Full text...  

On May The Fours Be With You - student

In their most recent wager Sir R-----'s goal was to guess the outcome of the Baron's roll of four four sided dice at a cost of four coins and a prize, if successful, of forty four. On the face of it this seems a rather meagre prize since there are two hundred and fifty six possible outcomes of the Baron's throw. Crucially, however, the fact that the order of the matching dice was not a matter of consequence meant that Sir R-----'s chances were significantly improved.

Full text...  

Beta Animals - a.k.

Several years ago we took a look at the gamma function Γ, which is a generalisation of the factorial to non-integers, being equal to the factorial of a non-negative integer n when passed an argument of n+1 and smoothly interpolating between them. Like the normal cumulative distribution function Φ, it and its related functions are examples of special functions; so named because they frequently crop up in the solutions to interesting mathematical problems but can't be expressed as simple formulae, forcing us to resort to numerical approximation.
This time we shall take a look at another family of special functions derived from the beta function B.

Full text...