Q. "What is a random walk?" you might ask.
Here is a reasonably good description kindly provided by the
Merriam-Webster Collegiate
Dictionary on line:
"a process (as Brownian motion or genetic drift) consisting of
a sequence of steps (as movements or changes in gene
frequency) each of whose characteristics (as magnitude and
direction) is determined by chance."
Perhaps the best place to start learning about random walks is by reading two very nice expository articles by G. Slade who is Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada:
Q. "What is a simulation?" you might ask next.
Here is a reasonably good description kindly provided by the
Merriam-Webster Collegiate
Dictionary on line:
"the imitative representation of the functioning of one
system or process by means of the functioning of another."
Q. "What do random walks look like?" This is best answered by a simulation of the random walk. Here are two links to simulations of random walks:
We ran a search on Google, and found "over 164,000 links!" In other words, random walks really are an important fact of life to many mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike. The following is a minute sample of some interesting web pages related to random walks. None of these URL's require a deeper understanding of random processes than what is covered in a standard undergraduate course in probability. Here you can also find a number of interesting simulations of 2-D random walks.
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