Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions

G-2018-25

History of uniform random number generation

Random number generators were invented before there were symbols for writing numbers, and long before mechanical and electronic computers. All major civilizations through the ages found the urge to make random selections, for various reasons. Today, random number generators, particularly on computers, are an important (although often hidden) ingredient in human activity. In this article, we give a historical account on the design, implementation, and testing of uniform random number generators used for simulation.

, 30 pages