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Presidential Election and the Length of the Shortest Piece (Math Chat)

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Visit this site: http://www.maa.org/features/mathchat/mathchat_11_16_00.html

Author:Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Description: Presidential election with 48% of the US popular vote does not come close to the extreme possibility, even with just two candidates, of winning with less than about 22% of the popular vote. See Math Chat of November 8, 1996. Answer to the Challenge: 1. What is the expected (average) length of the shorter piece of a meter stick with a random cut? 2. What is the expected length of the shortest of 3 pieces from 2 random cuts? 3. What is the expected length of the shortest of 4 pieces from 3 random cuts? 4. What is the expected length of the shortest of n pieces from n-1 random cuts?

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Probability

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