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Graduate Seminar

Zilin Jiang
Carnegie Mellon University
Title: The Best Card Trick

Abstract: In this talk, I am going to present the best card trick appeared in Michael Kleber's article in Mathematical Intelligencer 24 #1. Here is the opening paragraph:

"You, my friend, are about to witness the best card trick there is. Here, take this ordinary deck of cards, and draw a hand of five cards from it. Choose them deliberately or randomly, whichever you prefer--but do not show them to me! Show them instead to my lovely assistant, who will now give me four of them: the 7 of spades, then the Q of hearts, the 8 of clubs, the 3 of diamonds. There is one card left in your hand, known only to you and my assistant. And the hidden card, my friend, is the K of clubs."

Fully appreciating the trick will involve a little information theory and applications of the Birkhoff-von Neumann theorem and Hall's Marriage theorem.

Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Wean Hall 8220
Submitted by:  Zilin Jiang