Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss random and pseudorandom numbers. Randomness will be familiar to anybody who’s bought a lottery ticket or shuffled a pack of cards. But there’s also a phenomenon known as pseudo-randomness –numbers which look random but aren’t. So why are these numbers useful and how can they be generated? Melvyn is joined by Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford; Colva Roney-Dougal, Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews; and Timothy Gowers, Royal Society Research Professor in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
Tagged with “randomness” (3)
STOCHASTICITY This hour, Radiolab examines Stochasticity, which is just a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness. How big a role does randomness play in our lives? Do we live in a world of magic and meaning or … is it all just chance and happenstance? To tackle this question, we look at the role chance and randomness play in sports, lottery tickets, and even the cells in our own body. Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, two friends whose meeting seems purely providential, and some very noisy bacteria. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2009/09/11
Leonard Mlodinow, of the California Institute of Technology is the author of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. His lecture on the subject of randomness was presented by the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario on May 6th, 2009.