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Monte-Carlo simulation and The Pirates of the Caribbean

Online event


The Royal Society YouTube channel


This event is part of a series of lightning lectures for the Royal Society’s 2021 Summer Science digital showcase.

Abandoned pirate ship at sea. Image credit: pixabay

Have you ever wanted to determine the chances of a snow day in winter or the probability of an opponent’s next move in a gripping game of chess?

There are some calculations too complicated for even established mathematicians to solve. In these cases, scientists and mathematicians turn to a simple but powerful technique called the Monte-Carlo Simulation, a method first invented by scientists working on the atomic bomb in the 1940s.

So, what exactly is Monte-Carlo Simulation? And how does this simple yet refined concept help to resolve such complex problems?

Join mathematician Dr Nira Chamberlain as he enlists the help of Captain Jack Sparrow to explain the mathematical modelling of the Pirates of the Caribbean and how this creative solution can be applied to the real world.


  • Dr Nira Chamberlain CMath CSci FIMA FORS, President, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Attending this event online:

  • The event will be livestreamed on the Royal Society YouTube channel on Saturday 10 July 2021 at 12:00 noon BST
  • The event will also be available afterwards on our YouTube channel
  • This event is suitable for ages 14+
  • This event is free to join and there is no registration required
  • Live subtitles will be available
  • Part of Summer Science 2021
  • Share on social media using #SummerScience
  • For all enquiries contact

Related events

Monte-Carlo simulation and The Pirates of the Caribbean

Mathematician Dr Nira Chamberlain unravels the maths of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

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