If you enjoy mathematics as well as the BBC quiz series Pointless, hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, then you will most definitely enjoy the following blog post by Mathistopheles:

*This article is based on a gloriously irrelevant mathematical sequence that is derived (rather appropriately) from the episodes of the television show Pointless. It is the sort of idea that has me scribbling calculations on the back of envelopes for hours on end, despite there being absolutely no hope of an outcome that could in any way justify this investment of effort. In this first part, I introduce the sequence and explain how it is related to some well-known mathematical objects called Markov chains. In the vain hope that I might convey my enthusiasm for this topic to others, I have tried to write this piece in a fairly accessible way. Almost no mathematical knowledge is assumed, beyond a rough idea of what probability is.*

It provides a clear and accessible analysis of how the quiz show works by using directed graphs, matrices and Markov chains: read the full post here.

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Reblogged this on Stuart Neil.