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A Catalog of Random Bits

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathLand)
Description: Researchers use random numbers for tackling a wide range of problems, from modeling molecular behavior and sampling opinion to solving certain equations and testing the efficiency of algorithms. Such numbers also play crucial roles in a wide variety of games, including electronic versions of slot machines, lotteries, and other forms of gambling... A century ago, people who needed random numbers in their scientific work tossed coins, rolled dice, dealt cards, picked numbers out of well-stirred urns, or browsed census records and other lists of digits. In 1927, L.H.C. Tippett published a table of 41,600 random numbers, obtained by taking the middle digits of the area of parishes in England. He did it as a service to others who needed a convenient source of such numbers.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Number Sense/About Numbers, Number Theory

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