# Chance News 56

## Quotations

I can calculate the motion of heavenly

bodies but not the madness of people

After losing a fortune in the

South Sea Company bubble of 1720

## Forsooths

This forsooth is from the October 2009 RSS Forsooth.

Of course in those days we worked on the assumption that

everything was normally distributed and we have seen in the

last few months that there is no such thing as a normal distribution.

Scientific Computing World

February/March 2009

You can see the context of this comment here.

## Minimizing the number of coins jingling in your pocket

[Do We Need a 37-Cent Coin? http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/do-we-need-a-37-cent-coin/] Steven d. Levitt, October 6, 2009, Freakonomics Blog, The New York Times.

The current system of coins in the United States is inefficient. Patrick DeJarnette studied this problem and his work was highlighted in the Freakonomics blog. Dr. DeJarnette makes two assumptions.

1. Some combination of coins must reach every integer value in [0,99].

2. Probability of a transaction resulting in value v is uniform from [0,99].

Under this system, the average number of coins that you would receive in change during a random transaction would be 4.7.