One of the most interesting feature of computers is the immense power they have to model real world events. The real world is inherently random - hence, computers need to be able to simulate this. Random number generation is only covered in certain specifications, however, even if it's not, there is no harm in covering this section. We are learning ...- How computers generate random numbers
- How they can be used to model real world situations
So that we can ...- Understand how random numbers are generated
- Use random number generation in real world modelling situations.
Generally, random numbers are generated between 0 and 1 and are generated by hardware or software Random Number Generators (RNG).Surprisingly, there are two different 'types' of RNG ...__Pseudo__-random number generators (PRNG)__True__random number generators (TRNG)
Leave a machine alone to generate random numbers and you may eventually detect a pattern in the number due to the way in which the numbers are calculated. Expose the machine to a truly random outside influence like radioactive decay or weather patterns and true randomness results.Random Numbers - Numberphile (11:38) Random Numbers (the next bit) - Numberphile (9:22) Pseudorandom number generators (6:40)
There are plenty of resource online about random number generation, especially the connection between pseudorandom numbers and true random numbers. Spend a little time meandering around the random.org website before you attempt the following task. ... time.
Random number generation is used extensively in all areas of life, including computational modelling.
Focus on computational modellingComputer simulations involve the contruction of models using a computer program which represent real or imaginary situations. They allow the user to study or try things that would be difficult or impossible to do in real life and often involve the use use Queues (a data structure we have met briefly before). Computer simulations normally deal with a system which changes over time and always involve some element of randomness in their operation. One of the earliest computational models ever developed was Conways Game of Life. Conways Game of Life (3:29)
How about these? - There is plenty more about the Python random number generator at the Python random reference.
- Truly Random by David Harris. Nice.
- Watch, listen and download random numbers at the Australian National University Quantum Random Number Server.
- There is a copy of the mindmap from Task 2.1 in the lesson resources. Download it and complete it using Freeplane. Print this out and stick it in your notebooks.
- The Meteorological Office uses supercomputers to run very complex simulations of the atmosphere in order to be able to forecast the weather accurately. You could start by gathering weather forecasts from national newspapers, and so on, to focus on what forecasting is already done; alternatively, you could watch weather reports on television. Perform some research and produce a report on how supercomputers are used in modelling complex systems such as the weather.
- Download free traffic simulation software from SwissEduc.
- There is another simulation in the resources called 'Ant Simulator'. Download the zip file, extract it and double click
*LocasAnts.exe*to start the simulation.
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