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Monte Carlo

(After Monte Carlo, Monaco - a notorious gambling mecca) Any one of various methods involving statistical techniques, such as the use of random samples, to finding the solutions to mathematical or physical problems.

For example, to calculate pi, generate random points in the square (x, y) = ([0-1], [0-1]) and find the proportion for which x^2 + y^2 < 1, i.e. which lie within a quadant of a circle with radius 1. Since the area of the square is 1 and the area of the quadrant is pi/4, the proportion in the quadrant should be pi/4.

(1995-02-23)


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