Title: What is the Perfect Shuffle?
Speaker: James Enouen (Ohio State University)
Abstract: A standard 52-card deck of playing cards is shuffled "perfectly" when no adjacent card has the same value. The desire to call this type of shuffle "perfect" preys on our tendency to misunderstand and incorrectly generalize probability. In order to answer this question we will begin by studying rook polynomials which describe restrictions of permutations. Finally, we will explore how Ira Gessel's 1988 generalizations of rook polynomials yield means to provide an answer to this difficult combinatorial question.
Seminar URL: http://math.osu.edu/whatis