# Events

Predicting the Last Success: Maseeh Math & Stats Colloquium Series

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 3:00pm

Portland State University

Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics

The Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium
Series*

presents

presents

Tom Ferguson

~ Department of Mathematics,

University of California at Los Angeles ~

Predicting the Last Success

Abstract: We observe a finite sequence of independent Bernoulli
trials with known but varying probabilities of success, and we want to predict
when a given success will be the last. The problem of maximizing the probability
of predicting correctly has been solved in a remarkably simple theorem by Thomas
Bruss (2000). Among the applications of this theorem is the solution to the
well-known Secretary Problem. A general theorem will be presented that
generalizes Bruss's theorem in several ways. This generalization involves
predicting, one stage in advance, when a discrete time stochastic process will
hit an absorbing state. Several applications of this theorem will be
discussed.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, 3:00pm

Neuberger Hall room 373

(Refreshments served at 3:00 Neuberger Hall room 344)

Neuberger Hall room 373

(Refreshments served at 3:00 Neuberger Hall room 344)

* Sponsored by the Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series Fund and the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics, PSU. This event is free and open to the public.