(Tyskland)

Ehrhard Behrends is
professor of mathematics at the Free University of Berlin. His areas
of research are Functional Analysis and Probability. Since a long time he
tries to bridge the gap between the professional mathematicians
and the nonspecialists. He has given numerous talks and published books
and articles in journals for a general public. Since May 2003
he has a weekly column – the first mathematical column in Germany
 (,,Fünf Minuten Mathematik’’) in the journal DIE WELT. Professor Behrends works since
1998 as the Secretary of the ,,Deutsche MathematikerVereinigung’’. There
he also is the responsible for the internet domain www.mathematik.de which addresses
to all people who are interested in mathematics. Epost: behrends@math.fuberlin.de 
The talk will present and explain Parrondo’s
paradox: this paradox refers to the fact that there are loosing gambling
games which, when being combined stochastically or in a suitable deterministic
way, give rise to winning games.
First the paradox will be visualized
by a computer simulation. Then the mathematical background is explained,
nothing more than very elementary probability theory will come into play.
And finally a solution is given: One can understand why and how the paradox
,,works’’ by means of a translation to a simple geometrical question.
No special mathematical background is
needed to follow this talk.