PSU Mark
Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Svetlana Katok, Becky Halpenny.

Title:What is a random number?
Seminar:PMASS Colloquium
Speaker:Jason Rute, Penn State
Suppose there was a new lottery, Power Coin. Once a week, the lotto agency flips a fare coin 50 times, converts the heads to ones and the tails to zeros, and publishes that as the winning lottery ticket. Consider these three lottery ticket numbers: 01010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101, 11001001000011111101101010100010001000010110100011, 011000110 01001110100110110001011100110110000000111. Do any of these seem more random than the others? (What if I told you the second was the first 50 binary digits of pi?) Does it even make sense to say that a finite sequence of bits is more random than another? What about an infinite sequence of bits? In this talk, I am going to explore different definitions of random number. I will talk about the view that random numbers are a myth. I will talk about normal numbers. I will talk about Kolmogorov complexity, a way to measure randomness via computable compression. Last, I will introduce Martin-Löf randomness.

Room Reservation Information

Room Number:MB113
Date:04 / 17 / 2014
Time:02:30pm - 03:20pm