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ERIC Number: EJ900042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0746-8342
Not Just Hats Anymore: Binomial Inversion and the Problem of Multiple Coincidences
Hathout, Leith
College Mathematics Journal, v38 n3 p179-184 May 2007
The well-known "hats" problem, in which a number of people enter a restaurant and check their hats, and then receive them back at random, is often used to illustrate the concept of derangements, that is, permutations with no fixed points. In this paper, the problem is extended to multiple items of clothing, and a general solution to the problem of multiple coincidences is obtained using the technique of binomial inversion. This solution also motivates a general formula for the expected number of people who return home with all of their own clothes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A