[ml_ned] CWI Machine Learning seminar: Yuri Gurevich, Monday 30 October, 11:00, L016

Wouter Koolen-Wijkstra W.M.Koolen-Wijkstra at cwi.nl
Thu Oct 26 14:20:07 CEST 2017

Dear all,

It is my pleasure to announce the next CWI Machine Learning seminar:

Speaker:  Yuri Gurevich (Microsoft Research)
Title:    Impugning Alleged Randomness
Date:     Monday 30 October, 11:00
Location: CWI L016

Please find the abstract below.

Hope to see you then.

Best wishes,


Impugning Alleged Randomness

Yuri Gurevich
Microsoft Research

According to a 1985 issue of New York Times, "The New Jersey Supreme 
Court today caught up with the Essex County Clerk and a Democrat who has 
conducted drawings for decades that have given Democrats the top ballot 
line in the county 40 times out of 41 times." But the clerk wasn't found 
guilty. Here's another case of that sort, from a different part of the 
world. In the 1980s the Israeli tax authorities encouraged the public to 
request invoices from  plumbers, painters, etc. and send the invoices 
in; big prices were ruffled off. Surprisingly, a big price went to none 
other than the Director of Customs and VAT. The operation collapsed but 
the director wasn't punished.

You may be convinced that such lotteries are rigged, but how would you 
argue that in the court of law? Yes, the probability of the suspicious 
outcome is negligible. However the probability of any particular outcome 
is negligible. What can you say? We attempt to furnish you with an argument.

Only most rudimentary probability theory will be presumed.

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