Chance News (July-August 2005)

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Under construction. See Chance News (May-June 2005) for additional recent chance news.

Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

Here is a nice probability question that one of our students asked us to solve.

QUESTION: We start with n ropes and gather their 2n ends together.

Then we randomly pair the ends and make n joins. Let E(n) be the

expected number of loops. What is E(n)?

If you happen to know a reference for this problem please mention this in the discussion page for this chance news.