CS Table on 5/2: Random Number Generation

This week we will consider a more technical issue: How does/might one generate random numbers. We will consider two articles:

  • John David Stone (1996). A portable random-number generator. (Internet archive)
    A call to the random-maker procedure presented here yields a dynamically constructed procedure that acts as a random-number generator. When the dynamically constructed procedure is invoked with no arguments, it returns a pseudo-random real value evenly distributed in the range [0.0, 1.0); when it is invoked with one argument (which should be a positive integer n), it returns a pseudo-random integer value evenly distributed in the range [0, n); when it is invoked with two arguments, the first of which should be a positive integer and the second the symbol reset, it changes the seed of the random-number generator to the value of the first argument.
  • Greg Taylor and George Cox (2011). Behind Intel's New Random-Number Generator.
    [I]n 2008 Intel set out to make a random-number generator that uses only digital hardware. Intel researchers based in Hillsboro, Ore., and at the company's Bangalore Design Lab in India started by tackling a key part of the problem—how to make a random source of bits without using analog circuitry.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm in JRC 224B. Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.