Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B202/203


If you want to understand probability better (and you should), this is the talk for you.


Last year at Open Source Bridge I talked about randomness. Once you’ve done that, the next obvious topic is its close cousin: probability.

I will survey a bunch of stuff, probably including:

  • An explanation of where probabilities come from, their relationship to randomness and their formal and informal use in reasoning.
  • Some important probability tools such as rules for calculating probabilities, reliability estimation and Bayes’ Rule.
  • Constructing and using software probability simulations.
  • Applications of probability such as games, spam filtering and navigation.
  • A semi-gratuitous demonstration on an open-hardware open-source high speed true random number generator built by Keith Packard and friends that I’ve been involved with, which provides 12Mb/s of random bits through a USB port for about $15 in build cost.

Participants will write code for a Naive Bayesian spam filter and evaluate its performance during the session.

If you want to understand probability better (and you should), this is the talk for you.


probably, probability, random, Open Source, open hardware, games

Speaking experience

I'm a PSU Professor who does lots conference presentations.I have given seven Open Source Bridge talks in the past four years. I give a public talk once every couple of months in addition to normal classroom work.


  • Beach headshot 256x256

    Bart Massey

    Portland State University


    Bart Massey has been geeking around with community computing for 35 years, and has been involved in Free Software and Open Source since its inception. For the past 13 years, he has been a CS Prof at Portland State University, where he works in open tech, artificial intelligence, software engineering and low-level software development.

    Bart is past Secretary of the X.Org Foundation Board and a current Member of the PSU MCECS Innovation Program Board. Bart is the architect of the X library XCB, a modern replacement for Xlib, and the author of the XCB image extension. His current open tech interests include Haskell, game AI, open hardware and building bridges between pieces of the open tech community. He was one of the original participants in the Open Source Bridge conversation.