A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates

random digits

A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates is a 1955 book by the RAND Corporation. The book, comprising primarily of a random number table, was an important 20th century work in the field of statistics and random numbers. It was produced starting in 1947 by an electronic simulation of a roulette wheel attached to a computer, the results of which were then carefully filtered and tested before being used to generate the table. The book was one of the last of a series of random number tables produced from the mid-1920s through the 1950s, after which the development of high speed computers allowed faster operation through the generation of pseudorandom numbers rather than reading them from tables.

The RAND table was an important breakthrough in delivering random numbers, because such a large and carefully prepared table had never before been available. In addition to being available in book form, one could also order the digits on a series of punched cards. The main use of the tables was in statistics and the experimental design of scientific experiments, especially those which employed the ‘Monte Carlo method,’ a class of computational algorithms used in cryptography.

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