What's up in

random numbers

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness

August 20, 2019

Does objective, perfect randomness exist, or is randomness merely a product of our ignorance?

Abstractions blog

How Randomness Can Make Math Easier

July 9, 2019

Randomness would seem to make a mathematical statement harder to prove. In fact, it often does the opposite.


Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order

July 2, 2019

Mathematicians have proved that a random process applied to a random surface will yield consistent patterns.

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

June 19, 2019

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.

Art for "Proof Finds That All Change Is a Mix of Order and Randomness"
dynamical systems

Proof Finds That All Change Is a Mix of Order and Randomness

March 27, 2019

All descriptions of change are a unique blend of chance and determinism, according to the sweeping mathematical proof of the “weak Pinsker conjecture.”

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘A Drunkard’s Walk in Manhattan’

September 7, 2016

City blocks help illustrate why walking randomly tends to take you away from your starting point.

insights puzzle

A Drunkard’s Walk in Manhattan

August 18, 2016

Why is it that when you walk randomly, the more you walk, the farther you get from your starting point?

Abstractions blog

Air Traffic Control for Random Surfaces

August 5, 2016

Mathematicians have had a hard time finding commonalities in large groups of random shapes — until recently.


A Unified Theory of Randomness

August 2, 2016

Researchers have uncovered deep connections among different types of random objects, illuminating hidden geometric structures.