Probability puzzles




Hard Probability

What is the expected distance of any point on Earth and the north pole? Take Earth radius 1.

Clarification: Shortest distance cuts through the sphere, instead of lying on surface.

Further thinking: Is this question same as choosing two random points on unit sphere and asking their expected distance?

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Answer
Solution
Source: Quant Interview
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Hard Probability

A stick is broken into 3 pieces, by randomly choosing two points along its unit length, and cutting it. What is the expected length of the middle part?

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Solution
Source: Quant Interview
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Hard Probability

There are n letters and n envelopes. Your servant puts the letters randomly in the envelopes so that each letter is in one envelope and all envelopes have exactly one letter. (Effectively a random permutation of n numbers chosen uniformly). Calculate the expected number of envelopes with correct letter inside them.

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Source: CSEblog
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Hard Probability

A soda company is holding a contest where everyone who collects one each of N different coupons wins some prize. You get a coupon with each purchase of a soda, and each coupon is equally likely. What’s the expected number of soda bottles you have to buy in order to collect all the coupons?

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Source: Quant Interview
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Hard Probability

You have 100 noodles in your soup bowl. You are told to take two ends of some noodles (each end on any noodle has the same probability of being chosen) in your bowl and connect them. You continue until there are no free ends. What is the expected number of loops? What is the probability of making one large loop which includes every noodle?

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