Fluke

The Math and Myth of Coincidence

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465040004

Category: Mathematics

Page: 288

View: 8610

A mathematical guide to understanding why life can seem to be one big coincidence—and why the odds of just about everything are better than we would think

Fluke

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1780749015

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 1868

What are the chances?! This exclamation greets the scarcely believable coincidence – you’re picked up by the same taxi driver several years and thousands of miles apart or, in a second-hand bookshop far from home, you find your own childhood copy of Winnie-the-Pooh on the shelf. But the unlikely is more probable than you think. Against every fibre of common sense, the fact is that it’s quite likely that some squirrel, somewhere, will be struck by lightning as it crosses the road. The chaos and unpredictability of our lives is an illusion. There is a rational order to the universe, and it’s called mathematics. Fluke is a fascinating investigation into the true nature of chance, a must-read for maths enthusiasts and avid storytellers alike, it tears down the veil of improbability to reveal the wonderfully possible.

Fluke

The Math and Myth of Coincidence

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465040004

Category: Mathematics

Page: 288

View: 4343

A mathematical guide to understanding why life can seem to be one big coincidence—and why the odds of just about everything are better than we would think

What's Luck Got to Do with It?

The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler's Illusion

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834457

Category: Mathematics

Page: 296

View: 2934

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.

Music by the Numbers

From Pythagoras to Schoenberg

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889898

Category: Mathematics

Page: 176

View: 309

How music has influenced mathematics, physics, and astronomy from ancient Greece to the twentieth century Music is filled with mathematical elements, the works of Bach are often said to possess a math-like logic, and Igor Stravinsky said "musical form is close to mathematics," while Arnold Schoenberg, Iannis Xenakis, and Karlheinz Stockhausen went further, writing music explicitly based on mathematical principles. Yet Eli Maor argues that music has influenced math at least as much as math has influenced music. Starting with Pythagoras, proceeding through the work of Schoenberg, and ending with contemporary string theory, Music by the Numbers tells a fascinating story of composers, scientists, inventors, and eccentrics who played a role in the age-old relationship between music, mathematics, and the sciences, especially physics and astronomy. Music by the Numbers explores key moments in this history, particularly how problems originating in music have inspired mathematicians for centuries. Perhaps the most famous of these problems is the vibrating string, which pitted some of the greatest mathematicians of the eighteenth century against each other in a debate that lasted more than fifty years and that eventually led to the development of post-calculus mathematics. Other highlights in the book include a comparison between meter in music and metric in geometry, complete with examples of rhythmic patterns from Bach to Stravinsky, and an exploration of a suggestive twentieth-century development: the nearly simultaneous emergence of Einstein's theory of relativity and Schoenberg's twelve-tone system. Weaving these compelling historical episodes with Maor's personal reflections as a mathematician and lover of classical music, Music by the Numbers will delight anyone who loves mathematics and music.

Zeno's Paradox

Unraveling the Ancient Mystery Behind the Science of Space and Time

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780452289178

Category: Science

Page: 262

View: 2368

Traces the epic history of ancient Greek philosopher Zeno's yet-unsolved paradox of motion, citing the contributions of such top minds as Aristotle, Newton, and Hawking to furthering the scientific community's understanding of the elusive basic structure of time and space. Originally published as The Motion Paradox. Reprint.

The Perfect Bet

How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling

Author: Adam Kucharski

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465098592

Category: Mathematics

Page: 288

View: 3266

For the past 500 years, gamblers-led by mathematicians and scientists-have been trying to figure out how to pull the rug out from under Lady Luck. In The Perfect Bet, mathematician and award-winning writer Adam Kucharski tells the astonishing story of how the experts have succeeded, revolutionizing mathematics and science in the process. The house can seem unbeatable. Kucharski shows us just why it isn't. Even better, he demonstrates how the search for the perfect bet has been crucial for the scientific pursuit of a better world.

The Hidden Brain

How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives

Author: Shankar Vedantam

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 9781588369390

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 4603

The hidden brain is the voice in our ear when we make the most important decisions in our lives—but we’re never aware of it. The hidden brain decides whom we fall in love with and whom we hate. It tells us to vote for the white candidate and convict the dark-skinned defendant, to hire the thin woman but pay her less than the man doing the same job. It can direct us to safety when disaster strikes and move us to extraordinary acts of altruism. But it can also be manipulated to turn an ordinary person into a suicide terrorist or a group of bystanders into a mob. In a series of compulsively readable narratives, Shankar Vedantam journeys through the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral science to uncover the darkest corner of our minds and its decisive impact on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Filled with fascinating characters, dramatic storytelling, and cutting-edge science, this is an engrossing exploration of the secrets our brains keep from us—and how they are revealed.

Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Author: Persi Diaconis,Brian Skyrms

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140088828X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 272

View: 6297

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 Gerolamo Cardano, a sixteenth-century physician, mathematician, and professional gambler who helped develop the idea that chance actually can be measured. They describe how later thinkers showed how the judgment of chance also can 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.

The Improbability Principle

Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day

Author: David J. Hand

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374175349

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 269

View: 8202

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.

Chancing It

The Laws of Chance and How They Can Work for You

Author: Robert Matthews

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 1510723811

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 7251

Make your own luck by understanding probability Over the years, some very smart people have thought they understood the rules of chance?only to fail dismally. Whether you call it probability, risk, or uncertainty, the workings of chance often defy common sense. Fortunately, advances in math and science have revealed the laws of chance, and understanding those laws can help in your everyday life. In Chancing It, award-winning scientist and writer Robert Matthews shows how to understand the laws of probability and use them to your advantage. He gives you access to some of the most potent intellectual tools ever developed and explains how to use them to guide your judgments and decisions. By the end of the book, you will know: How to understand and even predict coincidences When an insurance policy is worth having Why “expert” predictions are often misleading How to tell when a scientific claim is a breakthrough or baloney When it makes sense to place a bet on anything from sports to stock markets A groundbreaking introduction to the power of probability, Chancing It will sharpen your decision-making and maximize your luck.

Damned Lies and Statistics

Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists

Author: Joel Best

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520953517

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 752

Here, by popular demand, is the updated edition to Joel Best's classic guide to understanding how numbers can confuse us. In his new afterword, Best uses examples from recent policy debates to reflect on the challenges to improving statistical literacy. Since its publication ten years ago, Damned Lies and Statistics has emerged as the go-to handbook for spotting bad statistics and learning to think critically about these influential numbers.

Euclid in the Rainforest

Discovering Universal Truth in Logic and Math

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101664878

Category: Mathematics

Page: 352

View: 8830

Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of the Calculus, Euclid in the Rainforest combines the literary with the mathematical to explore logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science, it is the foundation of every major advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Greeks. Through adventure stories and historical narratives populated with a rich and quirky cast of characters, Mazur artfully reveals the less-than-airtight nature of logic and the muddled relationship between math and the real world. Ultimately, Mazur argues, logical reasoning is not purely robotic. At its most basic level, it is a creative process guided by our intuitions and beliefs about the world.

What the Luck?: The Surprising Role of Chance in Our Everyday Lives

Author: Gary Smith

Publisher: The Overlook Press

ISBN: 1468313916

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 498

The newest book by the acclaimed author of Standard Deviations takes on luck, and all the mischief the idea of luck can cause in our lives. In Israel, pilot trainees who were praised for doing well subsequently performed worse, while trainees who were yelled at for doing poorly performed better. It is an empirical fact that highly intelligent women tend to marry men who are less intelligent. Students who get the highest scores in third grade generally get lower scores in fourth grade. And yet, it's wrong to conclude that screaming is not more effective in pilot training, women choose men whose intelligence does not intimidate them, or schools are failing third graders. In fact, there's one reason for each of these empirical facts: Statistics. Specifically, a statical concept called Regression to the Mean. Regression to the mean seeks to explain, with statistics, the role of luck in our day to day lives. An insufficient appreciation of luck and chance can wreak all kinds of mischief in sports, education, medicine, business, politics, and more. It can lead us to see illness when we are not sick and to see cures when treatments are worthless. Perfectly natural random variation can lead us to attach meaning to the meaningless. Freakonomics showed how economic calculations can explain seemingly counterintuitive decision-making. Thinking, Fast and Slow, helped readers identify a host of small cognitive errors that can lead to miscalculations and irrational thought. In What the Luck?, statistician and author Gary Smith sets himself a similar goal, and explains--in clear, understandable, and witty prose--how a statistical understanding of luck can change the way we see just about every aspect of our lives...and can help us learn to rely less on random chance, and more on truth.

Enlightening Symbols

A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers

Author: Joseph Mazur

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400850118

Category: Mathematics

Page: 312

View: 7184

While all of us regularly use basic math symbols such as those for plus, minus, and equals, few of us know that many of these symbols weren't available before the sixteenth century. What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve into what we know today? In Enlightening Symbols, popular math writer Joseph Mazur explains the fascinating history behind the development of our mathematical notation system. He shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted. Traversing mathematical history and the foundations of numerals in different cultures, Mazur looks at how historians have disagreed over the origins of the numerical system for the past two centuries. He follows the transfigurations of algebra from a rhetorical style to a symbolic one, demonstrating that most algebra before the sixteenth century was written in prose or in verse employing the written names of numerals. Mazur also investigates the subconscious and psychological effects that mathematical symbols have had on mathematical thought, moods, meaning, communication, and comprehension. He considers how these symbols influence us (through similarity, association, identity, resemblance, and repeated imagery), how they lead to new ideas by subconscious associations, how they make connections between experience and the unknown, and how they contribute to the communication of basic mathematics. From words to abbreviations to symbols, this book shows how math evolved to the familiar forms we use today.

An Adventure in Statistics

The Reality Enigma

Author: Andy Field

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1473943930

Category: Social Science

Page: 768

View: 3555

Shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2016 Shortlisted for the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers Award for Innovation in Publishing 2016 An Adventure in Statistics: The Reality Enigma by best-selling author and award-winning teacher Andy Field offers a better way to learn statistics. It combines rock-solid statistics coverage with compelling visual story-telling to address the conceptual difficulties that students learning statistics for the first time often encounter in introductory courses - guiding students away from rote memorization and toward critical thinking and problem solving. Field masterfully weaves in a unique, action-packed story starring Zach, a character who thinks like a student, processing information, and the challenges of understanding it, in the same way a statistics novice would. Illustrated with stunning graphic novel-style art and featuring Socratic dialogue, the story captivates readers as it introduces them to concepts, eliminating potential statistics anxiety. The book assumes no previous statistics knowledge nor does it require the use of data analysis software. It covers the material you would expect for an introductory level statistics course that Field’s other books (Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics and Discovering Statistics Using R) only touch on, but with a contemporary twist, laying down strong foundations for understanding classical and Bayesian approaches to data analysis. In doing so, it provides an unrivalled launch pad to further study, research, and inquisitiveness about the real world, equipping students with the skills to succeed in their chosen degree and which they can go on to apply in the workplace. The Story and Main Characters The Reality Revolution In the City of Elpis, in the year 2100, there has been a reality revolution. Prior to the revolution, Elpis citizens were unable to see their flaws and limitations, believing themselves talented and special. This led to a self-absorbed society in which hard work and the collective good were undervalued and eroded. To combat this, Professor Milton Grey invented the reality prism, a hat that allowed its wearers to see themselves as they really were - flaws and all. Faced with the truth, Elpis citizens revolted and destroyed and banned all reality prisms. The Mysterious Disappearance Zach and Alice are born soon after all the prisms have been destroyed. Zach, a musician who doesn’t understand science, and Alice, a geneticist who is also a whiz at statistics, are in love. One night, after making a world-changing discovery, Alice suddenly disappears, leaving behind a song playing on a loop and a file with her research on it. Statistics to the Rescue! Sensing that she might be in danger, Zach follows the clues to find her, as he realizes that the key to discovering why Alice has vanished is in her research. Alas! He must learn statistics and apply what he learns in order to overcome a number of deadly challenges and find the love of his life. As Zach and his pocket watch, The Head, embark on their quest to find Alice, they meet Professor Milton Grey and Celia, battle zombies, cross a probability bridge, and encounter Jig:Saw, a mysterious corporation that might have something to do with Alice’s disappearance… Author News "Eight years ago I had the idea to write a fictional story through which the student learns statistics via a shared adventure with the main character..." Read the complete article from Andy Field on writing his new book Times Higher Education article: “Andy Field takes statistics adventure to a new level” Stay Connected Connect with us on Facebook and share your experiences with Andy’s texts, check out news, access free stuff, see photos, watch videos, learn about competitions, and much more. Video Links Go behind the scenes and learn more about the man behind the book: Watch Andy talk about why he created a statistics book using the framework of a novel and illustrations by one of the illustrators for the show, Doctor Who. See more videos on Andy’s YouTube channel Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.

Suspicious Minds

Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories

Author: Rob Brotherton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147291564X

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 4462

'A first class book' Sunday Times We're all conspiracy theorists. Some of us just hide it better than others. Conspiracy theorists do not wear tin-foil hats (for the most part). They are not just a few kooks lurking on the paranoid fringes of society with bizarre ideas about shape-shifting reptilian aliens running society in secret. They walk among us. They are us. Everyone loves a good conspiracy. Yet conspiracy theories are not a recent invention. And they are not always a harmless curiosity. In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and unproveable conspiracy theories. They resonate with some of our brain's built-in quirks and foibles, and tap into some of our deepest desires, fears, and assumptions about the world. The fascinating and often surprising psychology of conspiracy theories tells us a lot – not just why we are drawn to theories about sinister schemes, but about how our minds are wired and, indeed, why we believe anything at all. Conspiracy theories are not some psychological aberration – they're a predictable product of how brains work. This book will tell you why, and what it means. Of course, just because your brain's biased doesn't always mean you're wrong. Sometimes conspiracies are real. Sometimes, paranoia is prudent.

Ender's Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Publisher: Tor Books

ISBN: 0765394863

Category: Fiction

Page: 448

View: 3836

This engaging, collectible, miniature hardcover of the Orson Scott Card classic and worldwide bestselling novel, Ender's Game, makes an excellent gift for anyone's science fiction library. “Ender's Game is an affecting novel."—New York Times Book Review Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. He excels in simulated war games. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn't it?

Complexity

The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

Author: Mitchell M. Waldrop

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671872346

Category: Mathematics

Page: 380

View: 6602

A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion

If Chins Could Kill

Confessions of a B Movie Actor

Author: Bruce Campbell

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250099277

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 3053

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor Here we are together in the digital universe. Somehow, you've clicked yourself to this page. If you came here of your own free will and desire, you and I are going to get along just fine. Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to download the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor. Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself. No-and that's exactly the point. You can download a terabyte of books about famous actors and their high-falootin' shenanigans. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we've all been down that road before. Scroll down to that Judy Garland biography. You know plenty about her already-great voice, troubled life. Scroll down a little further to the Charlton Heston book. Same deal. You know his story too-great voice, troubled toupee. The truth is that though you might not have a clue who I am-unless you watch cable very late at night-there are countless working stiffs like me out there, grinding away every day at the wheel of fortune. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor documents my time in blue-collar Hollywood, where movies are cheap, the hours are long, and the filmmaking process can be very personal. To keep up with the times, I've digitized Chins. It was originally published in hardcover/analog fifteen years ago, which is a vast amount of time in the evolution of books and technology, and it was time to get current. The advance of technology is great for a book like this, which is jammed full of pictures. When it came out originally, the photographs all had to be black and white and moderately sized on the page. Now, any photo that was originally taken in color can strut its stuff. Overall, the resolution of the images is off-the-charts better than the first go-around. This is one "sequel" that I'm happy to be a part of, since we could make so many technical improvements. The process was very similar to restoring an old movie. Since I knew that it was going to be reissued, I also had a look at the story being told and decided to condense, move, or clarify some chapters, all or in part. I also tried to add a hint of historical context, since it has been a decade and a half since Chins first came out. I hope you enjoy it. Regards, Bruce Campbell