Explaining the Tootsie Pop Algorithm

Mark Huber and Sarah Schott prepared a lecture called “Using TPA [the Tootsie Pop Algorithm] for Monte Carlo integration.” The authors are at Claremont McKenna College and Duke University, respectively.

You can see their presentation online, if you want to.

The algorithm can be used to try to answer the [somewhat ill-defined] question: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

BONUS: Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club member Aaron Santos wrote an estimable book — called How Many Licks? —about how to estimate the answer to such questions.

BONUS: Here’s one recent answer.