Persi Diaconis explains randomness

#PerciDiaconis #MartinGardner #statistics #mathematics #video
Perci Diaconis is a mathematician and a student of Martin Gardner. He was born on the 31st January, 1945, so, with a bit of delay, this is a way to say (after Rudi Mathematici): Happy birthday!
Stanford Statistics and Mathematics professor Persi Diaconis talks about how our notion of "randomness" can vary depending how much information you know. With perfect knowledge an event is not random, but we use randomness to account for all the factors or uncertainty that make an event unpredictable. From Program 15 of the Against All Odds series,
Martin Gardner about Persi Diaconis:
I think he was a late teenager. He was a professional card shark, or a card mechanic, as they call it in the trade. He worked ships between New York and South America. Of course, nobody suspected him of being skillful with cards because he was just a teenager. He was a student at City University of New York, and he paid his way through the university with the money that he got from poker games on ships. At that time Persi was very anxious to get into Harvard. The head of statistics department at Harvard was Frederick Mosteller, who is a magic buff. He was very active in magic, and his picture has been on the cover of magic magazines. I knew Mosteller slightly, so I wrote him a letter and said, "This young student is one of the best card mechanics in the country. He does a fantastic second deal and bottom deal." (Those are terms for fake deals. When you are dealing from a deck, there is a way to deal the second card instead of the top card, and there is a way to deal the bottom card instead of the top card.) I got back a letter right away from Mosteller, which said, "If he’s willing to major in statistics, I can get him into Harvard." So I asked Persi if he was willing to major in statistics, and he said, "Of course!" So he got in, got his Ph.D. in statistics, and is now at Stanford.
(from Notices of AMS vol.52, n.6 - pdf)

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