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e-Book Probabilities: The Little Numbers that Rule Our Lives epub download

e-Book Probabilities: The Little Numbers that Rule Our Lives epub download

Author: Peter Olofsson
ISBN: 0470624450
Pages: 278 pages
Publisher: JW; 1 edition (March 22, 2010)
Language: English
Category: Mathematics
Size ePUB: 1507 kb
Size Fb2: 1402 kb
Size DJVU: 1693 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 791
Format: azw mbr lrf azw
Subcategory: Science

e-Book Probabilities: The Little Numbers that Rule Our Lives epub download

by Peter Olofsson



Download books for free. What are the chances? Find out in this entertaining exploration of probabilities in our everyday lives

Download books for free. 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. 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.

Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Probabilities: The Little Numbers That . Beautifully written, with fascinating examples and tidbits of information.

Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives. 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.

Clumps in Space 98. Final Word 100. 4 Backward Probabilities: The Reverend Bayes to Our Rescue 101.

Publisher: John Wiley. Publication Date: 2015. Clumps in Space 98. Driving Miss Daisy 101. Bayes, Balls, and Boys (and Girls) 104.

Rule Our Lives is the ideal companion for anyone who wants to obtain a better understanding of the mathematics of chance.

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What are the chances?

Find out in this entertaining exploration ofprobabilities inour everyday lives

“If there is anything you want to know, or remindyourself, about probabilities, then look no further than thiscomprehensive, yet wittily written and enjoyable, compendium of howto apply probability calculations in real-worldsituations.”— Keith Devlin, Stanford University, National PublicRadio’s “Math Guy” and author of The Math Geneand The Math Instinct

“A delightful guide to the sometimes counterintuitivediscipline of probability. Olofsson points out major ideas here,explains classic puzzles there, and everywhere makes free use ofwitty vignettes to instruct and amuse.”— John Allen Paulos, Temple University, author ofInnumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

“Beautifully written, with fascinating examples andtidbits of information. Olofsson gently and persuasively shows ushow to think clearly about the uncertainty that governs ourlives.”— John Haigh, University of Sussex, author of TakingChances: Winning with Probability

From probable improbabilities to regular irregularities,Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Livesinvestigates the often-surprising effects of risk and chance in oureveryday lives. With examples ranging from WWII espionage to the O.J. Simpson trial, from bridge to blackjack, from Julius Caesar toJerry Seinfeld, the reader is taught how to think straight in aworld of randomness and uncertainty.Throughout the book, readers learn:

Why it is not that surprising for someone to win the lotterytwiceHow a faulty probability calculation forced an innocent womanto spend three years in prisonHow to place bets if you absolutely insist on gamblingHow a newspaper turned an opinion poll into one of the greatestelection blunders in history

Educational, eloquent, and entertaining, Probabilities: TheLittle Numbers That Rule Our Lives is the ideal companion foranyone who wants to obtain a better understanding of themathematics of chance.

Malodor
The style is halfway between a popular science book without equations, and a college textbook focussing mostly on equations. Within this style, it is very clearly written. It combinines neat explanations of basic mathematical probability facts beyond the most elementary "combinations and permutations" facts: law of averages, central limit theorem, opinion polls etc. It also has an unusually complete collection of the classic gems of elementary probability calculations (birthday paradox, coupon collector's problem, secretary problem, etc) and a few recent real-world instances (Sally Clark [2 SIDS children]; Berkeley admissions). So for these purposes, or to complement a dull introductory course, I can highly recommend this book. There are other good books with slightly different focus (and whose paperback versions are much cheaper than this hardback version): Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities is a somewhat less mathematical overview of the interesting bits of a college course in probability and statistics; and Taking Chances: Winning with Probability explains basic probability using real-world examples such as lotteries, dice and card games, casino games, TV show games, and racetrack betting.
Brick my own
Written in a chatty style, this introduction to probability theory avoids derivations and long formulas. The examples are often entertaining, and the explanations are clear. The historical background on some of the classic problems enriches them. A final chapter sketches basic ideas in statistics.
Mopimicr
Does not require much intelligence to follow along with the line of thinking. Even a "C" student in math, like me, was able to read and enjoy it.
Yellow Judge
Good book and a great place to start with probabilities.
I recommend this book and got it for a reasonable price.
Frey
I stumbled upon “Probabilities” on the library bookshelf while looking for the required reading for my graduate probability class (“A First Course in Probability” by Sheldon Ross). However, once I started “Probabilities,” I found I did not want to go back to Ross even though Ross is pretty decent. I ended up buying a copy of “Probabilities” for my permanent collection as this is a book I can see myself savoring over and over again.

Many people (including some professional mathematicians I know) do not like probability because it is often counterintuitive. However, Olofsson uses this to his advantage, highlighting the counterintuitive results as something that makes the subject so interesting. In fact, “Probabilities” has a chapter called “Surprising Probabilities: When Intuition Struggles.” Most importantly, “Probabilities” uses these counterintuitive results to help develop insight. The book often starts off with the intuitive thinking for a problem and then uses more in-depth analysis to show why it is in fact incorrect. And it makes this surprisingly fun!

As far as learning outcomes are concerned, I would say that the way “Probabilities” extracts insight from examples is one of the biggest advantages it has over Ross. Whereas Ross presents a large number of miscellaneous standalone examples, Olofsson successfully builds up examples and clearly pinpoints the key to approaching them. Here’s an illustrative excerpt from “Probabilities”:

***
Just like in the case of the children, there is a difference between the two pieces of information. And just like in the case of the children, there is more information in the case where something specific, in this case the ace of spades, has been identified…In the first case, we are asking for the probability of more than one ace given at least one ace; in the second, given one particular ace.
***

As another example, I was really grateful to Olofsson for pointing out that a class of problems can be easily solved through the recursive use of the law of total probability. Of course, Ross uses exactly this principle in a number of examples, but I don’t believe he ever explicitly gives it a name. There is also no practical way to go through all of the examples included in Ross and skipping a key example may result in missing an important concept. I was impressed by the fact that “Probabilities” managed to cover the key examples without leaving out anything major and without having anything seem like it was inserted just for the sake of completeness.

Further, while Ross provides formal proofs of key results, Olofsson helps develop intuition into understanding why they actually hold. Finally, Olofsson anticipates challenges and potential misunderstandings and addresses them head-on. For instance, the section on random walks starts off with a fair game where two players flip coins, with heads meaning Player A wins and tails meaning Player B wins. It includes:

***
As the game is fair, it seems reasonable to expect each player to be in the lead about half the time, with the lead passing from one to the other every now and then. Perhaps the lead changes, what, 20 times or so?

Let me puncture these beliefs immediately. The most likely individual scenario is that the lead never changes and that one player is ahead all the time!

***
“Probabilities” is written in an informal and conversational style (though it does include equations). As I was reading, I felt almost like I was sitting across the table from a good friend who was telling me about probability. There are absolutely no hints of obvious watered-down technical writing. The book manages to be informal without sacrificing clarity. Typically, when I’m reading a book like this, I find that there are at least a few passages that I have to re-read because they are not 100% clear the first time. Yet I cannot remember having to do this even once in this book.

It helped that the author is very articulate and could draw on a wide range of knowledge outside of coins and balls in urns. I personally really appreciated the multiple references to other books on the topic. Instead of listing them in ABC order in a Bibliography at the end, Olofsson intersperses them naturally throughout the text. As an added side-bonus (for me anyway), the book included more references to Sweden than a typical book written by a US-based author, and I enjoyed these Sweden-centric details. One example was a reference to a story by Swedish humorist Tage Danielsson featuring Mr. Sven-Erik Average, which I looked up. Additionally, the generous references to pop-culture and real world events helped add to the vitality of the text. However, they weren’t just randomly thrown in but helped illuminate the ideas being discusses. Due to the writing style and clarity, I preferred this book to Warren Weaver’s classic Lady Luck (still worth reading) Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability (Dover Books on Mathematics).

I cannot say enough good things about Peter Olofsson’s “Probabilities.” I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking to develop an understanding of probability while enjoying the ride. And if my own experience is any indication, even students taking graduate-level probability courses can benefit from this. If it was up to me, this book (or the more rigorous textbook version, Probability, Statistics, and Stochastic Processes Probability, Statistics, and Stochastic Processes) would be the required reading for my class.
Jode
Olofsson's book is refreshing in its clarity. Many books written in this venue tend to leave the reader 'out there', sorting out obscure math terminology or just feeling generally inadequate. Olofsson engages you humor while giving examples that come out of all of our lives. If you are not a mathematician and wondered about probability, this is your book. There is no sacrifice of quality for this clarity, however. The best analogy I can give you is asking the valedictorian of your high school class a question. When he or she answered you, they put their answer in terms you could understand, no matter how obscure the subject. I am a retired educator. After 30 years its still refreshing to see this kind of work out there!