Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Practical Guide to Using Countable Elementary Submodels

doll-house

So, you may have heard about these things called countable elementary submodels. You may have heard that they work like magic and do all sorts of amazing things. “Mathematical voodoo” some might say. “Witchcraft!” others declare. Hearing this you become intrigued and set out to harness this black power. You quickly realize that there are […]

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Secret Santa 3: The Paradox.

grandfather-paradox

Last time I discussed the solution to Sam’s problem: Sam’s Problem. Is it possible for two people to each choose a natural number so that both numbers are exactly 1 apart and neither person knows who has the larger of the two numbers? I established, by induction, that it is impossible to do this. Great. […]

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The Secret Santa Problem (Part 2)

Last time, just in time for Christmas, we looked at the Secret Santa Problem. Basically the problem is to set up a secret santa type gift exchange without using any external aids like random number generators. A similar problem given to me by Sam Coskey is the following: Sam’s Problem. Is it possible for two […]

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