Thursday, May 29, 2008

Its not a coincidence.

Most people think mathematics is boring. I don't, but neither do I recall ever being as fascinated by mathematics as I was this morning, listening to a Melvyn Bragg discussion on probability as I drove home from Cardiff. One bit of the discussion I remember was to do with how many people need to be in a room for it to be probable that two will share the same birthday. Answer is 23.

It is mathematically provable that there is a probability that two of the participants on the field of play in a football match will share a birthday (that's if the ref is included). Or an international rugby team with its 7 replacements (and the ref again). It seems that 23 is the number of people needed, on average, to pass the 50% probability level. This is a much lower figure than I'd have expected.

But to reach a 50% probability that another person will share the birthday of a specific person in a room, it needs over 250 people. This is rather higher than I would have expected. So there is 'probably' no-one in the entire Gordon Brown fan club who share's the Prime Minister's birthday. Completely useless bit of information I know - but it interested me.

4 comments:

Edward J said...

What are the chances of you gaining the seat from Lembit to say a traditional Tory who is all for the continuance of the union?

Glyn Davies said...

edward - Firstly, the whole basis of my approach to constitutional issues is to create a 'settled' and stable union.

And secondly, its only the voters who can answer your question.

Anonymous said...

No doubt at all We will Glyn bach.

Anonymous said...

And talking of probabilities, do take a look at Iain Dale's blog from this Wednesday! The odds are on your side to take Mont from the Showbiz maniac