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From the College of Natural Sciences
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How to Make Better Random Numbers

How to Make Better Random Numbers

University of Texas at Austin computer scientist David Zuckerman has published an article in ​The Conversation​ explaining the importance of random numbers and his new algorithm for generating high quality random numbers from low quality sources.

​The article, co-authored with Eshan Chattopadhyay from the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University, describes the fundamental importance of random numbers for the security of computers, since the the use of randomness is key in making sure cryptography (what allows everything from social media to bank transactions to be secure online) works properly.

In order to assure that cryptography remains secure, random numbers generated by computers can not have any subtle patterns, since that would allow a potential hacker to predict which numbers are more likely to be chosen. Sources of random numbers with such patterns, also called pseudorandom numbers due to their predictable nature, are said to be low-quality. High quality sources, those that are truly unpredictable, are usually slow and costly to produce, and so there is a need for a high quality method which can use some of the typical low-quality tools, which are typically faster. The authors discuss how they have created such a method, which can actually make the output of two low quality sources of random numbers into a high quality random number generator. 

To read the article by Zuckerman and Chattopadhyay, click below:

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Wednesday, 10 August 2022

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