Struck by Lightning

Struck by Lightning

The Curious World of Probabilities

Book - 2006
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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.

Publisher: Washington, DC : 2006
ISBN: 9780309097345
0309097347
Branch Call Number: ANF 519.2 ROSE
Characteristics: 264 p. ; 21 cm

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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

Who knew probability and statistics could be so amusing? In this bestseller, Rosenthal, a professor at the University of Toronto, explains probablility and statistics using everyday examples: the odds of winning the lottery, how political polls work and even blocking unwanted email. This entertaining book will have you looking at this branch of mathematics in a whole new light.

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britprincess1
Feb 12, 2013

You're not going to become an economist or probability expert by reading this book, but at least you can see how probability, statistics, game theory, and other such math applies to everyday life. You understand the different types of biases, how probability works, the concepts of p-values and Gaussian distribution, utility functions, and more. I think it would be good reading in high school curricula. Best of all, it's nice to read a great book like this, a Malcolm-Gladwell-read-alike, that comes from Canada! Truly enjoyed it. I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in math (and even a little bit to those who aren't)!

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britprincess1
Feb 12, 2013

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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