Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis


Aalto Stochastics and Statistics Seminar

Aalto Stochastics and Statistics Seminar is organized by Kalle Kytölä, Lasse Leskelä, and Pauliina Ilmonen. Feel free to contact one of us if you are interested in giving a talk. You may also earn credit points by active participation.

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Recent and upcoming talks

  • 4.5.2023 15:15  Prof. Emer. Brendan D McKay (Australian National University): A scientist's adventure into pseudoscience: the strange case of the Bible Codes (further info) – M2 (M233)

    Over the centuries, many claims have been made of numerical patterns of miraculous nature hidden within the text of sacred writings, including the Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures. Usually the patterns involve counting of letters and words, or calculations involving numerical equivalents of the letters. Until recently, all such claims were made by people with little mathematical understanding and were easily explained. This situation changed when a highly respected Israeli mathematician Eliyahu Rips and two others published a paper in the academic journal Statistical Science claiming to prove that information about medieval Jewish rabbis was encoded in the Hebrew text of the Book of Genesis. The journal reported that its reviewers were "baffled". The paper in Statistical Science spawned a huge "Bible Codes" industry, complete with best selling books, TV documentaries, and even a romance movie. The talk will reveal the inside story of the Codes and the people behind them, from their inception through to their refutation.

Past seminars

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