CHAPTER 9

The Simple Art of Monte Carlo

Aaron Brown

Morgan Stanley

Introduction

Monte Carlo is a beautifully simple and counterintuitive idea: when a problem is too hard to solve rationally, do something random. It has application beyond applied mathematics. In the introduction to The Simple Art of Murder,1 Raymond Chandler explained the secret to keeping the plot moving in hard-boiled fiction, “[T]he demand was for constant action; if you stopped to think you were lost. When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” Thirty-three years later, the television show The A Team faced a similar problem. The show’s innovation was to have constant action sequences; there was no tolerance for thinking, investigating, or waiting. ...

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