Field of Science

Weird Words of Science: stochastic

I'm teaching a graduate course in mathematical modeling of natural processes. Many math modeling techniques rely on the random numbers and are more generally known as stochastic algorithms. A simple example is numerical integration. We used numerical integration techniques to the value of pi by (virtually) throwing darts at a circular target embedded in square (figure). The ratio of hits inside the circle to the total hits is pi/4. Stochastic comes from the Greek stochastikos "to take a guess", which itself derives from stochos - "target", so the target image above is apt.

1 comment:

  1. I 'stochastic' from printing - I work on a magazine. It works well with large B&W images and images details that need to be seen.


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