# Are you really random?

## Objective

To find the most effective way to generate random number.

## Base Difficulty

Easy (Knowledge in computer programming is helpful)

## Concept

Random is a word that gets thrown around easily and gets taken for granted. Is tbere anything that is really random?

The majority of the events in nature are random. Radioactive decay of atoms, quantum tunneling, and even rain drops! So it is important that we understand true randomness.

So let's make something random. If we take a piece of paper and put it outside on the ground when the rainfalls, the pattern of the raindrops is called a random pattern. However, once we define it as a rain pattern, it becomes a rain pattern. So when we try to use it as random sequence, it no longer applies.

It is hard to generate a random number. Once we generate these numbers, the list of numbers is no longer random, but generated. This is an oxymoron! So we try our best.

What is the best way to generate random numbers then?

## Personalizing Your Project

- What is the most effective algorithm for generating random numbers? Finding numbers out of a phone book? Asking people? Or is there a perfect equation for it?
- What is the best way of testing if a set of numbers are truly random? Is there a numerical method? Can you visually confirm this? And is that enough? Do they have some sort of pattern?
- Once you've obtained a good random number set, how can you use these numbers? How about calculating an area, or pi, or even a significant universal event?
- How does your iPod™ generate shuffle?

## Things to Consider

- This is a thought experiment. There are very few dangers.
- It is important that you state your method clearly.

## Google Key Words

To do more research on the randomness of numbers, try typing these words into a Google search.

- Monte Carlo Method
- Random Number Generator
- Numerical Methods
- Chaos Theory

## References

- http://www.random.org/
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Carlo_method
- http://mathworld.wolfram.com/RandomNumber.html
- Numerical Recipes in C++: The Art of Scientific Computing by William H. Press, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling, and Brian P. Flannery