Search Google Appliance


Predicting the Last Success: Maseeh Math & Stats Colloquium Series
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 3:00pm
Portland State University
Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics
The Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series*

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)

* 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.