- 07 Jun '06 21:05My rather untidy friend has 100 pieces of string, which are tangled

into a ball so that each of the 200 ends are protruding from the

surface. My friend picks one of the 200 ends at random, and attaches

it randomly to one of the 199 remaining ends. After this he picks

another end at random, and then attaches this randomly to one of the

remaining 197 ends. Continuing in this way, he finally joins all

200 of the ends up, leaving a number of loops of string. On

average, how many loops should he expect to obtain? - 07 Jun '06 21:49

Not as many as a tidy person would.*Originally posted by SPMars***My rather untidy friend has 100 pieces of string, which are tangled**

into a ball so that each of the 200 ends are protruding from the

surface. My friend picks one of the 200 ends at random, and attaches

it randomly to one of the 199 remaining ends. After this he picks

another end at random, and then attaches this randomly to one of the

remaining 197 end ...[text shortened]... p, leaving a number of loops of string. On

average, how many loops should he expect to obtain? - 07 Jun '06 22:31

3.284?*Originally posted by SPMars***My rather untidy friend has 100 pieces of string, which are tangled**

into a ball so that each of the 200 ends are protruding from the

surface. My friend picks one of the 200 ends at random, and attaches

it randomly to one of the 199 remaining ends. After this he picks

another end at random, and then attaches this randomly to one of the

remaining 197 end ...[text shortened]... p, leaving a number of loops of string. On

average, how many loops should he expect to obtain?