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[theory-seminar] [Theory Seminar] [cstheory-special] Reminder: Motwani Computer Science Theory Colloquium

Tim Roughgarden tim at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Oct 15 09:15:14 PDT 2015


Reminder: this is today at 4:15 in Huang 300.

On Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 9:44 AM, Tim Roughgarden <tim at cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
> The first Rajeev Motwani Distinguished Lecture of the year will be given
> Thursday, October 15th, by Avi Wigderson from the Institute for Advanced
> Studies.  Avi is a giant of theoretical computer science, and his talk
> promises to be broadly accessible (title/abstract below); you should
> definitely attend if you can.
>
> Motwani Distinguished Lectures are a roughly quarterly series of theory
> colloquia aimed at a relatively broad audience.  See
> http://theory.stanford.edu/motwani_lecture/ for details.
>
> The talk is at 4:15 PM on October 15th in the Mackenzie Room (Huang
> Engineering Center, Room 300,
> http://campus-map.stanford.edu/?id=&lat=37.43413296203056&lng=-122.174
> 29865&zoom=15&srch=Huang%20Engineering%20Center).
>
> There will be a reception with refreshments (wine, cheese, etc.) immediately
> following the talk.
>
> Hope to see you there!
>
> Tim
>
> ---
> Title: Randomness
>
> Abstract:
> Is the universe inherently deterministic or probabilistic? Perhaps more
> importantly - can we tell the difference between the two?
>
> Humanity has pondered the meaning and utility of randomness for millennia.
> There is a remarkable variety of ways in which we utilize perfect coin
> tosses to our advantage: in statistics, cryptography, game theory,
> algorithms, gambling... Indeed, randomness seems indispensable! Which of
> these applications survive if the universe had no randomness in it at all?
> Which of them survive if only poor quality randomness is available, e.g.
> that arises from "unpredictable" phenomena like the weather or the stock
> market?
>
> A computational theory of randomness, developed in the past three decades,
> reveals (perhaps counter-intuitively) that very little is lost in such
> deterministic or weakly random worlds. In the talk I'll explain the main
> ideas and results of this theory.
>
> The talk is aimed at a general scientific audience.
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