## Odd science

For geeky conversation starters, try the Birthday ParadoxFiled under: * Academia * Funny— Kevin @ 9:09 pmbirthdaygrapherI can’t remember what steered me to this Wikipedia entry but I found the birthday paradox too interesting to let up. Try using this as a conversation starter (or wager material) at the next birthday party* The birthday paradox states that if there are 23 or more people in a room then there is a chance of more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday. This is not a paradox in the sense of leading to a logical contradiction; it is a paradox in the sense that it is a mathematical truth that contradicts common intuition. Most people estimate that the chance is much lower than 50%. Calculating this probability (and related ones) is the birthday problem. The mathematics behind it has been used to devise a well-known cryptographic attack named the birthday attack.There’s even a program to show you how the probability of having similar birthdays graphs out called Birthday Grapher (duh!). It’s a free application for Mac OS X that calculates the probabilities of duplicate birthdays by picking random numbers rather than using a formula.* Depending on how you pull it off, this author is not responsible for any personal physical harm due to sever nerdiness.

theory.isthereason » For geeky conversation starters, try the Birthday Paradox

technorati tags: Birthday, Mac , graph, nerdiness, chat

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