Without a source I recall a text I read which described the invention of the Monte Carlo Method, and how it “was dignified with a name” after being used extensively during the Manhattan Project. This is a fantastic phrase that fits this method well.
Despite it’s scary name, the idea is very simple. You compute a lot of random points, say . Then check which ones satisfy a certain property, say , then you compute the ratio
It is so unsophisticated that it would be embarrassing to explain to someone who was not already familiar with it. The fact that it works (sometimes) is remarkable and a testament to the fact that applications of mathematics and statistics are not always complex.
Despite being long dignified with a name, it does not have the same gravitas or weight in it’s name as other methods like the ‘finite difference method’ or ‘Euler’s method’. It was after all named after a casino.
To my knowledge this is a unique naming convention, reserved for the most ad hoc of methods.
I’ll update this post if I come across the source with this phrase.