From terrorist attacks to big money jackpots, Struck by Lightning deconstructs the odds and oddities of chance, examining both the relevant and irreverent role of randomness in our everyday lives. Human beings have long been both fascinated and appalled by randomness. On the one hand, we love the thrill of a surprise party, the unpredictability of a budding romance, or the freedom of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are inexplicably delighted by strange coincidences and striking similarities. But we also hate uncertainty's dark side. From cancer to SARS, diseases strike with no apparent pattern. Terrorists attack, airplanes crash, bridges collapse, and we never know if we'll be that one in a million statistic. We are all constantly faced with situations and choices that involve randomness and uncertainty. A basic understanding of the rules of probability theory, applied to real-life circumstances, can help us to make sense of these situations, to avoid unnecessary fear, to seize the opportunities that randomness presents to us, and to actually enjoy the uncertainties we face. The reality is that when it comes to randomness, you can run, but you can't hide. So many aspects of our lives are governed by events that are simply not in our control. In this entertaining yet sophisticated look at the world of probabilities, author Jeffrey Rosenthal--an improbably talented math professor--explains the mechanics of randomness and teaches us how to develop an informed perspective on probability.
The Curious World of Probabilities
Author: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Publisher: National Academies Press
This witty, nontechnical introduction to probability elucidates such concepts as permutations, independent events, mathematical expectation, the law of averages and more. No advanced math required. 49 drawings.
The Theory of Probability
Author: Warren Weaver
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Chance continues to govern our lives in the 21st Century. From the genes we inherit and the environment into which we are born, to the lottery ticket we buy at the local store, much of life is a gamble. In business, education, travel, health, and marriage, we take chances in the hope of obtaining something better. Chance colors our lives with uncertainty, and so it is important to examine it and try to understand about how it operates in a number of different circumstances. Such understanding becomes simpler if we take some time to learn a little about probability, since probability is the natural language of uncertainty. This second edition of Chance Rules again recounts the story of chance through history and the various ways it impacts on our lives. Here you can read about the earliest gamblers who thought that the fall of the dice was controlled by the gods, as well as the modern geneticist and quantum theory researcher trying to integrate aspects of probability into their chosen speciality. Example included in the first addition such as the infamous Monty Hall problem, tossing coins, coincidences, horse racing, birthdays and babies remain, often with an expanded discussion, in this edition. Additional material in the second edition includes, a probabilistic explanation of why things were better when you were younger, consideration of whether you can use probability to prove the existence of God, how long you may have to wait to win the lottery, some court room dramas, predicting the future, and how evolution scores over creationism. Chance Rules lets you learn about probability without complex mathematics.
An Informal Guide to Probability, Risk and Statistics
Author: Brian Everitt
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
What are the chances? Find out in this entertaining exploration of probabilities in our everyday lives "If there is anything you want to know, or remind yourself, about probabilities, then look no further than this comprehensive, yet wittily written and enjoyable, compendium of how to apply probability calculations in real-world situations."--Keith Devlin, Stanford University, National Public Radio's "Math Guy" and author of The Math Gene and The Math Instinct. "A delightful guide to the sometimes counterintuitive discipline of probability. Olofsson points out major ideas here, explains classic puzzles there, and everywhere makes free use of witty vignettes to instruct and amuse."--John Allen Paulos, Temple University, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. "Beautifully written, with fascinating examples and tidbits of information. Olofsson gently and persuasively shows us how to think clearly about the uncertainty that governs our lives."--John Haigh, University of Sussex, author of Taking Chances: Winning with Probability. From probable improbabilities to regular irregularities, Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives investigates the often-surprising effects of risk and chance in our everyday lives. With examples ranging from WWII espionage to the O.J. Simpson trial, from bridge to blackjack, from Julius Caesar to Jerry Seinfeld, the reader is taught how to think straight in a world of randomness and uncertainty. Throughout the book, readers learn: -Why it is not that surprising for someone to win the lottery twice -How a faulty probability calculation forced an innocent woman to spend three years in prison -How to place bets if you absolutely insist on gambling -How a newspaper turned an opinion poll into one of the greatest election blunders in history. Educational, eloquent, and entertaining, Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives is the ideal companion for anyone who wants to obtain a better understanding of the mathematics of chance.
The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives
Author: Peter Olofsson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Why do so many gamblers risk it all when they know the odds of winning are against them? Why do they believe dice are "hot" in a winning streak? Why do we expect heads on a coin toss after several flips have turned up tails? What's Luck Got to Do with It? takes a lively and eye-opening look at the mathematics, history, and psychology of gambling to reveal the most widely held misconceptions about luck. It exposes the hazards of feeling lucky, and uses the mathematics of predictable outcomes to show when our chances of winning are actually good. Mathematician Joseph Mazur traces the history of gambling from the earliest known archaeological evidence of dice playing among Neolithic peoples to the first systematic mathematical studies of games of chance during the Renaissance, from government-administered lotteries to the glittering seductions of grand casinos, and on to the global economic crisis brought on by financiers' trillion-dollar bets. Using plenty of engaging anecdotes, Mazur explains the mathematics behind gambling--including the laws of probability, statistics, betting against expectations, and the law of large numbers--and describes the psychological and emotional factors that entice people to put their faith in winning that ever-elusive jackpot despite its mathematical improbability. As entertaining as it is informative, What's Luck Got to Do with It? demonstrates the pervasive nature of our belief in luck and the deceptive psychology of winning and losing. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler's Illusion
Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Probability and statistics impinge on the life of the average person in a variety of ways — as is suggested by the title of this book. Very often information is provided that is factually accurate but intended to give a biased view. This book presents the important results of probability and statistics without making heavy mathematical demands on the reader. It should enable an intelligent reader to properly assess statistical information and to understand that the same information can be presented in different ways. In this second edition the author presents a new chapter exploring science and society including the way that scientists communicate with the public on current topics, such as global warming. The book also investigates pensions and pension policy, and how they are influenced by changing actuarial tables. Contents:The Nature of ProbabilityCombining ProbabilitiesA Day at the RacesMaking Choices and SelectionsNon-Intuitive Examples of ProbabilityProbability and HealthCombining Probabilities: The Craps Game RevealedThe UK National Lottery, Loaded Dice and Crooked WheelsBlock DiagramsThe Normal (or Gaussian) DistributionStatistics: The Collection and Analysis of Numerical DataThe Poisson Distribution and Death by Horse KicksPredicting Voting PatternsTaking Samples: How Many Fish in the Pond?Differences: Rats and IQsCrime is Increasing and DecreasingMy Uncle Joe Smoked 60 a DayChance, Luck and Making DecisionsScience and SocietyThe Pensions Problem Readership: Undergraduate students in mathematics; general public interested in probability and statistics. Keywords:Probability;StatisticsKey Features:Assumes a modest mathematical backgroundDeals with matters of everyday lifePresents problems and solutions for the reader to test their level of understanding
Health, Elections, Gambling and War
Author: Michael Mark Woolfson
Publisher: World Scientific
A compelling journey through history, mathematics, and philosophy, charting humanity’s struggle against randomness Our lives are played out in the arena of chance. However little we recognize it in our day-to-day existence, we are always riding the odds, seeking out certainty but settling—reluctantly—for likelihood, building our beliefs on the shadowy props of probability. Chances Are is the story of man’s millennia-long search for the tools to manage the recurrent but unpredictable—to help us prevent, or at least mitigate, the seemingly random blows of disaster, disease, and injustice. In these pages, we meet the brilliant individuals who developed the first abstract formulations of probability, as well as the intrepid visionaries who recognized their practical applications—from gamblers to military strategists to meteorologists to medical researchers, from blackjack to our own mortality.
Adventures in Probability
Author: Michael Kaplan,Ellen Kaplan
Unlike traditional introductory math/stat textbooks, Probability and Statistics: The Science of Uncertainty brings a modern flavor to the course, incorporating the computer and offering an integrated approach to inference that includes the frequency approach and the Bayesian inference. From the start the book integrates simulations into its theoretical coverage, and emphasizes the use of computer-powered computation throughout. Math and science majors with just one year of calculus can use this text and experience a refreshing blend of applications and theory that goes beyond merely mastering the technicalities. The new edition includes a number of features designed to make the material more accessible and level-appropriate to the students taking this course today.
The Science of Uncertainty
Author: Michael J. Evans,Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Publisher: Macmillan Higher Education
Solutions Manual for Free Download This textbook is an introduction to probability theory using measure theory. It is designed for graduate students in a variety of fields (mathematics, statistics, economics, management, finance, computer science, and engineering) who require a working knowledge of probability theory that is mathematically precise, but without excessive technicalities. The text provides complete proofs of all the essential introductory results. Nevertheless, the treatment is focused and accessible, with the measure theory and mathematical details presented in terms of intuitive probabilistic concepts, rather than as separate, imposing subjects. In this new edition, many exercises and small additional topics have been added and existing ones expanded. The text strikes an appropriate balance, rigorously developing probability theory while avoiding unnecessary detail.
Author: Jeffrey S Rosenthal
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company
A well-known statistician presents his theory that extraordinary and rare events are actually commonplace and cites stories of two-time lottery winners and other bizarre coincidences to support his theory that unlikely events statistically must happen. 50,000 first printing.
Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
Author: David J. Hand
Category: Business & Economics
Celebrated mathematician Amir D Aczel sets his sights on the probability theory - the branch of mathematics that measures the likelihood of a random event. What is commonly called 'luck' has mathematical roots - and in Aczel's capable hands readers learn to increase their odds of success in everything from true love to the stock market.
A Guide to Gambling, Love, the Stock Market and Just about Everything Else
Author: Amir D. Aczel
Publisher: High Stakes
Are you afraid you might succumb to bird flu? Worried that a life of poverty awaits you in old age? Concerned that you might not be having as much sex as the French? Anxious that our planet is under threat from climate change or a collision with an asteroid? If any, or all, of these things worry you, you're not alone. Anxiety is a part of modern life. But why? We're living longer, safer, and healthier lives than at any time in human history. So what is there to worry about? In this witty and revealing book, Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams strip away the hysteria that surrounds over forty of today's most common scare stories, from overpopulation and murder rates to fish shortages and obesity levels, and show the extraordinary extent to which statistics are manipulated or misrepresented by vested interests and the media, eager to exploit our fears. And most importantly they offer a toolkit for skepticism—ways of helping readers sort out what really is worth panicking about from the stuff that really isn't.
Two Statisticians Explain What's Worth Worrying About (and What's Not) in the 21st Century
Author: Hugh Aldersey-Williams,Simon Briscoe
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
For readers of Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Daniel Levitin with a twist of Bill Bryson—a lighthearted, entertaining and fateful exploration of luck in everyday life For centuries, people around the world have prayed for good luck and warded against bad. Every language features a good luck greeting. Sailors have long looked for an albatross on the horizon as a symbol of good fortune. Jade, clovers, rabbits’ feet, wishbones: these items have lined the pockets of those seeking good fortune. For some, it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder, to enter and leave a home through different doors or to say “Macbeth” in a theatre. But is there such a thing as luck, or does luck often just explain common sense? Don’t walk under a ladder because, well, that’s just dangerous. You won the lottery not because of any supernatural force but because a random number generator selected the same numbers that you picked out at the corner store. You run into a neighbour from your street on the other side of the world: Random chance or pure fate? (Or does it depend on how much you like your neighbour?) Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, author of the bestseller Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities, was born on a Friday the thirteenth, a fact that he discovered long after he had become one of the world’s pre-eminent statisticians. Had he been living ignorantly and innocently under an unlucky cloud for all those years? Or is thirteen just another number? As a scientist and a man of reason, Rosenthal has long considered the value of luck, good and bad, seeking to measure chance and hope in formulas scratched out on chalkboards. In Knock on Wood, Rosenthal, with great humour and irreverence, divines the world of luck, fate and chance, putting his considerable scientific acumen to the test in deducing whether luck is real or the mere stuff of superstition.
Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything
Author: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Mathematics scares and depresses most of us, but politicians, journalists and everyone in power use numbers all the time to bamboozle us. Most maths is really simple - as easy as 2+2 in fact. Better still it can be understood without any jargon, any formulas - and in fact not even many numbers. Most of it is commonsense, and by using a few really simple principles one can quickly see when maths, statistics and numbers are being abused to play tricks - or create policies - which can waste millions of pounds. It is liberating to understand when numbers are telling the truth or being used to lie, whether it is health scares, the costs of government policies, the supposed risks of certain activities or the real burden of taxes.
Seeing Through a World of Numbers
Author: Andrew Dilnot,Michael Blastland
Publisher: Profile Books
Since September 11, 2001, the imagination of "low probability, high consequence" events has become a distinctive feature of contemporary politics. Uncertain futures—devastation by terrorist attack, cyber crime, flood, financial market collapse—must be discerned and responded to as possibilities, however improbable they may be. In The Politics of Possibility, Louise Amoore examines this development, tracing its genealogy through the diverse worlds of risk management consulting, computer science, commercial logistics, and data visualization. She focuses on the increasingly symbiotic relationship between commercial opportunities and state security threats, a relation that turns the trusted, iris-scanned traveler into "a person of national security interest," and the designer of risk algorithms for casino and insurance fraud into a homeland security resource. Juxtaposing new readings of Agamben, Foucault, Derrida, Massumi, and Connolly with interpretations of post–9/11 novels and artworks, Amoore analyzes the "politics of possibility" and its far-reaching implications for society, associative life, and political accountability.
Risk and Security Beyond Probability
Author: Louise Amoore
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Social Science
Praised by Entertainment Weekly as “the man who put the fizz into physics,” Dr. Len Fisher turns his attention to the science of cooperation in his lively and thought-provoking book. Fisher shows how the modern science of game theory has helped biologists to understand the evolution of cooperation in nature, and investigates how we might apply those lessons to our own society. In a series of experiments that take him from the polite confines of an English dinner party to crowded supermarkets, congested Indian roads, and the wilds of outback Australia, not to mention baseball strategies and the intricacies of quantum mechanics, Fisher sheds light on the problem of global cooperation. The outcomes are sometimes hilarious, sometimes alarming, but always revealing. A witty romp through a serious science, Rock, Paper, Scissors will both teach and delight anyone interested in what it what it takes to get people to work together.
Game Theory in Everyday Life
Author: Len Fisher
Publisher: Basic Books
Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world's top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology. This Second Edition of a Game Developer Front Line Award winner: Describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design Demonstrates how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in top-quality video games Contains valuable insight from Jesse Schell, the former chair of the International Game Developers Association and award-winning designer of Disney online games The Art of Game Design, Second Edition gives readers useful perspectives on how to make better game designs faster. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.
A Book of Lenses, Second Edition
Author: Jesse Schell
Publisher: CRC Press
The Heart of Mathematics addresses the big ideas of mathematics (many of which are cutting edge research topics) in a non-computational style intended to be both read and enjoyed by students and instructors, as well as by motivated general readers. It features an engaging, lively, humorous style full of surprises, games, mind-benders, and all without either sacrificing good mathematical thought or relying on mathematical computation or symbols. The authors are award-winning authors, holding awards such as: Distinguished Teaching Award (Burger, from the Mathematical Association of America); Chauvenet Prize (the best expository mathematics writer in the world, Burger, from the MAA) and many others.
An Invitation to Effective Thinking
Author: Edward B. Burger,Michael P. Starbird
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
For centuries, scientists have strived to predict the future. But to what extent have they succeeded? Can past events-Hurricane Katrina, the Internet stock bubble, the SARS outbreak-help us understand what will happen next? Will scientists ever really be able to forecast catastrophes, or will we always be at the mercy of Mother Nature, waiting for the next storm, epidemic, or economic crash to thunder through our lives? In The Future of Everything, David Orrell looks back at the history of forecasting, from the time of the oracle at Delphi to the rise of astrology to the advent of the TV weather report, showing us how scientists (and some charlatans) predicted the future. How can today's scientists claim to anticipate future weather events when even thee-day forecasts prove a serious challenge? How can we predict and control epidemics? Can we accurately foresee our financial future? Or will we only find out about tomorrow when tomorrow arrives?
The Science of Prediction
Author: David Orrell
Publisher: Basic Books
A Guide to Better Movement offers a clear and practical look at emerging science related to the brain's role in movement and pain. It is written for movement professionals, athletes, chronic pain sufferers, and anyone else interested in moving better and feeing better. In it, you will learn: the essential qualities of movements that are healthy and efficient; why good movement requires healthy "maps" in the brain; why pain is sometimes more about self-perception than tissue damage or injury; the science behind mind-body practices; general principles that can be used to improve any movement practice; and 25 illustrated and simple movement lessons to help you move better and feel better.
The Science and Practice of Moving with More Skill and Less Pain
Author: Todd Hargrove
Category: Health & Fitness