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


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

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

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