[MATRIX-SIG] random.gauss isn't Gaussian

Mike Miller miller5@uiuc.edu
30 Jan 1998 11:51:43 -0600

I've been doing some monte carlo studies with python (monte
python calculations actually) and have found rather weird
distributions when using random.gauss.  Contrary to what the
docs say, it does not generate a normal distribution.

In addition, while looking into this, I found that the
test_generator function in random.py calculates standard
deviations as sqrt( Sum[ x*x ]/n - mean*mean ), which is
somewhat different from what I think of as the usual
definition - sqrt(Sum[ ( x - mean )^2 / N ]).

Is this all intentional?  Or is it a bug?


Michael A. Miller                                miller5@uiuc.edu
  Department of Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  PGP public key available on request

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