Paper by Cockburn Published as Cover Article in <em>Mathematics Magazine</em> - Hamilton College
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Paper by Cockburn Published as Cover Article in Mathematics Magazine


Sally Cockburn
Sally Cockburn

A paper co-authored by Associate Professor of Mathematics Sally Cockburn and former Visiting Professor of Mathematics Joshua Lesperance is the cover article in the April 2013 issue of Mathematics Magazine, published by the Mathematical Association of America.

The paper, "Deranged Socks," draws on a number of different mathematical tools to solve a deceptively simple-sounding combinatorial problem: if n people reach into a basket of n loose pairs of socks and randomly draw two socks each, what is the probability that nobody gets a matching pair? Strangely, the bigger n gets, the closer the probability gets to 1/e.

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