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Ten Great Ideas about Chance - Persi Diaconis

Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Hardcover Published: 7th November 2017
ISBN: 9780691174167
Number Of Pages: 272

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A fascinating account of the breakthrough ideas that transformed probability and statistics In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, gamblers and mathematicians transformed the idea of chance from a mystery into the discipline of probability, setting the stage for a series of breakthroughs that enabled or transformed innumerable fields, from gambling, mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance to physics and computer science. This book tells the story of ten great ideas about chance and the thinkers who developed them, tracing the philosophical implications of these ideas as well as their mathematical impact. Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms begin with Girolamo Cardano, a sixteenth-century physician, mathematician, and professional gambler who helped develop the idea that chance can actually be measured. They describe how later thinkers showed how the judgment of chance can also be measured, how frequency is related to chance, and how chance, judgment, and frequency could be unified. Diaconis and Skyrms explain how Thomas Bayes laid the foundation of modern statistics, and they explore David Hume's problem of induction, Andrey Kolmogorov's general mathematical framework for probability, the application of computability to chance, and why chance is essential to modern physics. A final idea--that we are psychologically predisposed to error when judging chance--is taken up through the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Complete with a brief probability refresher, Ten Great Ideas about Chance is certain to be a hit with anyone who wants to understand the secrets of probability and how they were discovered.   

Industry Reviews

"A historical and philosophical tour of major insights in the development of probability theory."---James Ryerson, The New York Times Book Review
"Ten Great Ideas About Chance isn't just about 18th century philosophical arguments, World War II events or tests of expensive, hard-to-pronounce drugs. The book's ideas are as down to earth and as current as your busted bracket for NCAA Men's Basketball." * Herald Business Journal *
"A terrific book. The authors explain 10 great ideas in probability, starting from their history and pursuing their philosophical implications."---Eric S. Rosenthal, Mathematics Magazine
"Mathematically rigorous, yet also reasonably accessible; informative, yet fun and entertaining to read. Both students and faculty should find reading this to be a rewarding experience." * MAA Reviews *
"A great book for anyone who wants to understand some of the central tenets of probability, how they were discovered, and how they can be tamed in our day-to-day lives." * ZME Science *
"This book will not increase your odds of winning at games of chance, but it will give you some greater understanding of why you lose." * Cosmos *
"The audience is quite specific, but for them it will be a gem. . . . I would recommend this to any student studying or having studied anything statistics related at university."---Jonathan Shock, Mathemafrica
"A very enriching journey. Your vision will be broadened assimilating all these issues and solutions as well as open problems from the early history of probability, game theory, financial markets, politics, thermodynamics, quantum theory and much much more."---Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society
"To anyone with an interest in probability or statistics, this is a book you must read. . . . [It] is far-ranging and can be read at many levels, from the novice to the expert. It is also thoroughly engaging, written in a conversational style with many examples and asides and an emphasis throughout on the people who have built the theory."---David M. Bressoud, The UMAP Journal
"A volume that should be on every scientist's reading list."---Barbara Kiser, Nature

Preface ixAcknowledgments xi1 Measurement 12 Judgment 223 Psychology 484 Frequency 625 Mathematics 796 Inverse Inference 1007 Unification 1228 Algorithmic Randomness 1459 Physical Chance 16510 Induction 190Appendix: Probability Tutorial 209Notes 225Annotated Select Bibliography 239Image Credits 247Index 249

ISBN: 9780691174167
ISBN-10: 0691174164
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 7th November 2017
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.6
Edition Number: 1

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