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Talk: “Life and Random Algorithms” by Bruce Hajek

Part of the Center for Advanced Study Annual Lecture Series

Life and random algorithms are intertwined. Individuals and communities are built upon random algorithms, through mechanisms of mutation and biological regulatory networks for evolution of individuals, to social order emerging from traditions, constitutions, and communication platforms. Random algorithms are increasingly exerting themselves in modern living. Distributed trust and social choice can be supported by algorithms, with randomization providing simplicity and tractability. Random selection is central to science as in thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Humans embrace randomness, witnessed by the lure of lotteries and gambling. And humans are creating new random algorithms at an accelerating pace.

This talk explores the symbiosis between life and random algorithms, the moderating influence of the law of large numbers, randomness in religion, free will, and opportunities and pitfalls for the human condition.

This lecture is presented by the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) and is the 29th lecture in this series. The CAS Annual Lecture series offers a rare opportunity for audiences to hear the Center's most distinguished scholars speaking about their work.

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For further information, visit the Center for Advanced Study (external link) or call (217) 333-6729.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at (217) 244-5586 or cudiamat@illinois.edu (email link).