The Monty Hall Problem

Want to get a room full of engineers into a frenzy?  Show them the following video:

Some of the people in here have been fighting about the probability being 66% for the last 15 minutes.  One guy even pulled out a sheet of paper so he could try to prove how the video was wrong using his insane math skillz.  Another one is legitimately angry over the solution and no longer wants to discuss it.

I’ll tell you… a life among math nerds is very different from the world that you regular people enjoy.

**UPDATE

It has been about 2 hours since this video was unleashed.  There is still fighting. 

“WHAT IF THE HOST OPENS THE DOOR WITH THE CAR?”
“He won’t… that’s the point..”
“AHA But what if he does”
“…. but he doesn’t”
“Well still.  WHEN HE CLOSES ONE DOOR, YOU ARE LEFT WITH TWO MEANING IT IS 50/50”
“Did you watch the video?”
“THE VIDEO IS WRONG”

There is some twitching going on in here.  And I know, I KNOW, that at least 50% of these guys are going to go home to their wives to talk about it.  Their wives are probably not math-crazy and will just nod in agreement to anything because it’s easier to avoid a fight by saying “uh-huh” rather than “stop talking to me because I don’t care AT ALL”.  The men will come back tomorrow morning with an inflated ego, and I will hate each and every one of their wives for this.  Well, except for the one that makes biscotti because that stuff is delicious.  As far as I’m concerned, she can never do wrong.

The fighting will again commence tomorrow morning.  And that, my friends, is why I arrive late.

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7 Comments on “The Monty Hall Problem”

  1. Bradley Kabert Says:

    Great Scott!

    Probably the worst of the “many different ways to explain why”, but it makes sense.

    They’re filming the modern version of Let’s Make a Deal in Vegas, let’s go!

    • Heather Says:

      Although I am now able to figure out how to pick the door with the best odds, I still never win at ANYTHING (except really shady vacations apparently).

      Even if the odds of picking the right door is 66%, my odds of winning are 0%, so it doesn’t really work out.

      And what happened to Don Keylips? I liked that alias.

  2. Colin Ross Says:

    Good old Monty Hall.

    It’s one of those puzzles where people can be really adamant about what the answer is and still be wrong either because their intuition is wrong or because they are misunderstanding the question.

    Nice video though.

    • Heather Says:

      Thanks!

      I just looked at your site – very cool. I plan on visiting a lot since I love those puzzles.

      I’m trying to decide if I want to introduce the men I sit with to your site… I am sure that if I did, the yelling would never stop… but it IS pretty funny.

      • Colin Ross Says:

        I hope to get the time to put up some puzzles of my own devising at some point. The site is very new (about 5 days I think!).

        Anyway, I look forward to your visits, with or without yelling men… 🙂


  3. Hahaha, this is why I HATE math. I would rather study History or Literature (or the best, a combination of the two) ANY day. My wife, on the other hand, is completely opposite and would love this. I will have to show her this video when I get home.

    • Heather Says:

      I always thought that history was interesting, but I have always struggled with it for some reason. It’s actually a lot easier for me to understand now that somebody isn’t trying to jam it down my throat for a grade.

      Hopefully your wife enjoys it. I should have showed it to my boyfriend because he gets really excited about this kind of thing too. I will probably do that tonight when I get home as well.

      Let me know if she likes it!


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