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Wrong Michael Shlesinger?

Dr. Michael F. Shlesinger

Chief Scientist and Nonlinear Science

Naval Research Laboratory

HQ Phone: (202) 404-6419

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Naval Research Laboratory

Code 5500, 4555 Overlook Ave, SW

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia 20375

United States

Company Description

NRL is the corporate research laboratory for the Navy and Marine Corps and conducts a broad program of scientific research, technology and advanced development. To view the full listing of News Releases, click here. ... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Chief Scientist for Nonlinear Science


Kinnear Chair In Science

U.S. Naval Academy




Senior Executive Service

American Physical Society



Mathematics and Physics

SUNY Stony Brook

Ph. D.




University of Rochester

Web References (16 Total References)

Philosophical Society of Washington Minutes of Meeting 2243 [cached]

Mr. Haapala introduced the speaker of the evening, Mr. Michael Shlesinger of the Naval Research Laboratory, who spoke on "The History of Probability."

Probability, Mr. Shlesinger said, took a long time to find a home in mathematics.
Mr. Shlesinger mentioned risk-benefit analysis. This takes into account one's personal gains and losses.
Mr. Shlesinger told us of the Talmudic Paradox.
Mr. Shlesinger described Bertrand's Paradox: take a circle and what is the probability that a randomly drawn chord of a circle will be longer than the side of an inscribed equilateral triangle. It looks like it should be 1/3, but it is not. Some conditions "snuck in." It is the angles that are equally distributed, not the chord lengths. A similar relationship obtains with a guy looking at the sky from a life raft. The angles count, not the strips of the apparent sky.
Mr. Shlesinger answered a question about the inevitability of the current state with a comment about geography being a strong determiner of everything.
Another asked about the wisdom of slot machines, then under political consideration in Maryland, and the proposition about not betting unless you can afford to lose. In response, he discussed the insidiousness of slot machines and how they deliberately let people win in increasing amounts at decreasing frequencies. He does not favor slot machines. He mentioned that he went to Vegas and lost all his money, though, so he may be biased.
He mentioned the need for behavioral research depending on results, and observed in Vegas, they adjust results by giving free drinks.
Mr. Haapala presented a plaque to Mr. Shlesinger commemorating the occasion.

Physics Today November 2005 [cached]

Michael F. Shlesinger( of Naval Research

Fetzer Institute [cached]

Michael F. ShlesingerOffice of Naval Research

2003 GRC on Nonlinear Science [cached]

Discussion Leader: Michael Shlesinger (Office of Naval Research)

"This is something that's been discovered ... [cached]

"This is something that's been discovered that people should pay attention to if they are trying to understand the heart," said Michael Shlesinger, a physicist at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA. In addition to helping scientists understand how the heart adjusts its beats, the new mathematical description of the heartbeat may give doctors a better way to tell a sick heart from a healthy one. Although many people may think of the heart as having a steady beat, the amount of time between beats varies slightly, even when a person isn't changing his level of activity.

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