Event Type:

Probability Seminar

Date/Time:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 08:00

Location:

WNGR 285

Guest Speaker:

Robert Smythe

Institution:

Department of Statictics, Oregon State University

Abstract:

What do DeMoivre, Laplace, Euler, von Mises, Polya and Einstein have in common (besides being dead white guys)? All of them worked on some version of the Coupon Collectorâ€™s Problem, one of the oldest problems in combinatorial probability. After being worked over for three centuries by such eminent mathematicians, one might wonder if the problem has anything left to be done.

I will review some of the history of this problem, which in its classic form has to do with the number of ways to place k balls in n cells. Some recent results for a generalized version of this problem will also be described.