quantitative analyst interview questions shared by candidates
You have 10 mice and 1000 bottles of wine. You also have 24 hours before a party, and one of the bottles has been tainted with a slow acting poison, which takes 24 hours to kill a mouse. In the 24 hours you have remaining, how many bottles can you guarantee safe for human consumption (assume humans and mice react identically)? Assume the lethal dosage is insignificant relative to the size of the bottle.
I'll say 500. Since the dosage is insignificant, I'll divide the number of bottles in half, take samples from each of the first 500 bottles, mix them up, divide by 10 and feed to each mouse. If no mouse dies after 24 hours, then the first batch is safe. else, the second batch would be served.
999. It is like a binary problem. First mouse tests the first #1-500 (mixed). Second tests #1-250 and #501-750. Third one tests #1-125, #251-375, #501-625, #751-875, and so on. 10 mice with 2 status each (death/alive) could encode number of bottles up to 2^10=1024. So 10 mice is enough to find out the single bottle that tainted.
You have a deck of 52 cards, and you keep taking pairs of cards out of the deck. if a pair of cards are both red, then you win that pair; if a pair of cards are both black, then I win that pair; if a pair of cards has one red and one black, then it's discarded. If, after going through the whole deck, you have more pairs than I do, then you win $1, and if I have more pairs than you do, I win $1. What is the value of this game in the long run?
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