A conversation about mathematics inspired by a hat. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett.

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A conversation about mathematics inspired by a hat. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

For the “100 hats in a line, shout a colour starting from the back of the line” puzzle, am I being too simplistic by simply saying “Shout out the colour of the hat of the person in front of you” ? That would also give a 99.5% success rate.

The problem with that strategy is that the person behind you tells you what colour your hat is, but you can’t use that information because you’re committed to using your turn to tell the person in front of you about their hat. You could have people alternate between helping the next person and saving themselves, but that only gets you 75%.