Recently the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science held its second monthly “Pizza and Puzzles,” hosted by Dr. Sarah Wolff. The theme this month was randomness. Math and computer science majors gathered with friends to eat pizza, tell math jokes, and solve probability puzzles. For example: if a jerk gets on the airplane and decides not to take his/her/their seat, but some other random one, then each additional person will try to take their own seat if possible, but a random one if not. What are the chances that your seat will be taken if you are the last one to get on the plane? The answer is really rather surprising!
The most heated discussion, however, arose around a logic puzzle in which a guard lines up prisoners and puts different colored hats on their heads, then asks them to identify the color of their own hat. In fact, the discussion (arguing?) is still ongoing!