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This book is intended as a popular, but abbreviated treatise on probability theory. Basic concepts and techniques are introduced and illustrated mainly by drawing from a wealth of entertaining, paradoxical, and mind-boggling probability problems (such as the birthday problem or the Monty Hall problem). The writing style is purposefully enjoyable and mostly non-technical. The pace is leisurely. No knowledge of calculus of previous knowledge of probability theory or statistics is required. The emphasis is on entertainment and pedagogy rather than applicability or usefulness. Examples reflect…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
This book is intended as a popular, but abbreviated treatise on probability theory. Basic concepts and techniques are introduced and illustrated mainly by drawing from a wealth of entertaining, paradoxical, and mind-boggling probability problems (such as the birthday problem or the Monty Hall problem). The writing style is purposefully enjoyable and mostly non-technical. The pace is leisurely. No knowledge of calculus of previous knowledge of probability theory or statistics is required. The emphasis is on entertainment and pedagogy rather than applicability or usefulness. Examples reflect everyday occurrences, not pre-fabricated or altered data. While honest in approach, the author takes great pain to ease the level of mathematics throughout the work. Probability theory is learned by and through example.
  • Produktdetails
  • Verlag: John Wiley & Sons
  • Seitenzahl: 278
  • Erscheinungstermin: 1. März 2010
  • Englisch
  • Abmessung: 234mm x 156mm x 15mm
  • Gewicht: 427g
  • ISBN-13: 9780470624456
  • ISBN-10: 0470624450
  • Artikelnr.: 29979115
Autorenporträt
PETER OLOFSSON, PHD, is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Trinity University. Dr. Olofsson is an active researcher in the field of applied probability and is an experienced teacher. He is the author of Probability, Statistics, and Stochastic Processes, also from Wiley.
Inhaltsangabe
Contents

Preface v

1 Computing Probabilities: Right Ways and Wrong Ways 1

The Probabilist 1

The Probabilist's Toys and Language 4

The Probabilist's Rule Book 9

Independence, Airplanes, and Russian Peasants 14

Conditional Probability, Swedish TV, and British Courts 19

Liar, Liar 25

Car Dealers and Color Blindness 28

Shuttlecocks and Spaghetti Westerns 33

Combinatorics, Pastrami, and Poetry 39

The von Trapps and the Binomial Distribution 44

Final Word 49

2 Surprising Probabilities: When Intuition Struggles 51

Boys, Girls, Aces, and Colored Cards 51

Goats and Gloats 56

Happy Birthday 58

Typical Atypicalities 63

The British Snob and I 69

Strategery 72

Final Word 75

3 Tiny Probabilities: Why Are They So Hard to Escape? 77

Probable Improbabilities 77

Saddam and I 81

Taking Tiny Risks 86

A Million-to-One Shot, Doc, Million to One! 88

Monsieur Poisson and the Mysterious Number 37 90

Clumps in Space 95

Final Word 97

4 Backward Probabilities: The Reverend Bayes to Our Rescue99

Driving Miss Daisy 99

Bayes, Balls, and Boys (and Girls) 102

Bayes and My Green Card 105

Objection Your Honor 110

Ornithology 119

Final Word 122

5 Beyond Probabilities: What to Expect 125

Great Expectations 125

The Price is Right (Maybe) 131

Blood, Sweat, and Theory 135

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait 137

Expect the Unexpected 142

Exponential growth toward extinction 146

Size Matters (and Length, and Age) 156

Mean, median, mode 161

Deviant Behavior 167

Final Word 172

6 Inevitable Probabilities: Two Fascinating Mathematical Results173

Alea Iacta Est, Over and Over 173

Even-Steven? The Law Misunderstood 177

Coin Tosses and Freeway Congestion 183

Let's Get Serious 190

Bells and Bread 194

How a Toronto Quincunx Changed My Life 199

Final Word 201

7 Gambling Probabilities: Why Donald Trump Is Richer than You203

French Letters 203

Roulette: A Classy Way to Waste Your Money 207

Craps: Not so Dicey After All 212

Blackjack: Money for Mnemonics 215

Math for Losers 221

Win Money and Lose Friends 228

Final Word 238

8 Guessing Probabilities: Enter the Statisticians 239

Lies, Damned Lies, and Beautiful Lies? 239

4 out of 10 Like the President 19 Times out of 20 243

Polls Gone Wild 248

The Silver Lining 253

The Lawsuit and the Lurker 257

Football Players and Geyser Eruptions 262

Snooping in the Abbot's Garden 269

Final Word 274

9 Faking Probabilities: Computer Simulation 277

Mahogany Dice and Modular Arithmetic 277

Random and Not-So-Random Digits 284

Number One Is Number One 285

Is Random Really Random? 288

Final Word 293

Index 295