This is the video of the BMS Friday lecture by Avi Widgerson (IAS, Princeton) entitled "Randomness". The talk was given on June 30, 2017 at the BMS Loft at Urania.
Is the universe inherently deterministic or probabilistic? Perhaps more important - can we tell the difference between the two?
Humanity has pondered the meaning and utility of randomness for millennia. There is a remarkable variety of ways in which we utilize perfect coin tosses to our advantage: in statistics, cryptography, game theory, algorithms, gambling... Indeed, randomness seems indispensable! Which of these applications survive if the universe had no randomness in it at all? Which of them survive if only poor quality randomness is available, e.g. that which arises from “unpredictable“ phenomena like the weather or the stock market?
A computational theory of randomness developed in the past three decades reveals (perhaps counter-intuitively) that very little is lost in such deterministic or weakly random worlds. In his talk, Wigderson will explain the main ideas and results of this theory.
For more information about BMS Fridays, visit our website at: math-berlin.de/academics/bms-fridays.