Suppose you have a group of 10,000 people where about 5% of them are infected. You have a testing pool machine which can pool up to 32 samples and tell you if one or more people are infected, or none are infected. What is the best strategy to figure out who has the infection that requires the fewest tests, on average.

I've seen similar questions, but in all of them, after identifying the positive group, they then test everyone individually, which seems like an incredible waste of the 32 person pooling machine, especially given the infection rate is relatively low.

 Feb 24, 2021

This question is one on an active qualifying quiz for Math Camp.



Zixuntau, you bloody well know it is absolutely unethical for you to post any of the currently active quiz questions in anypublic or private math forum, or to seek any help from anyone. You have to sign an oath stating that your submitted answers are yours and yours alone, without help or assistance from anyone online or in person. I suppose you will not have a problem swearing that a lie is the truth. You didn’t have a problem dragging us into your cheating scheme.


Your cheating has also made it easier for others to cheat, and that will potentially keep dozens of honest, deserving students from receiving advanced mathematical training and education.


You should suspend your math education and take a few ethics classes. Maybe you will learn how fucking a mathematical (or any) education institution can have ramifications that affect large segments of society or the world at large for decades to come. Maybe then you will actually give a damn.




See also https://web2.0calc.com/questions/best-way-to-covid-test

 Feb 25, 2021
edited by Guest  Feb 25, 2021

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