This book brings together a variety of probability applications through entertaining stories that will appeal to a broad readership. What are the best stopping rules for the dating problem? What can Bayes’ formula tell us about the chances of a Champions League draw for soccer teams being rigged? How could syndicates win millions of lottery dollars by buying a multitude of tickets at the right time? What’s the best way to manage your betting bankroll in a game in which you have an edge? How to use probability to debunk quacks and psychic mediums? How can the Monte Carlo simulation be used to solve a wide variety of probability problems? Are seven riffle shuffles of a standard deck of 52 playing cards enough for randomness?
These questions and many more are addressed in seventeen short chapters that can be read independently. The engaging stories are instructive and demonstrate valuable probabilistic ideas. They offer students material that they most likely don’t learn in class, and offer teachers a new way of teaching their subject.
What is Casino Credit Worth?
One Hundred Prisoners: Freedom or Death
Birthday Surprises and 500 Oldsmobiles
Was the Champions League Rigged?
Benford Goes to the Casino
Surprising Card Games, or, It's All in the Cards
The Lost Boarding Pass and the Seven Dwarfs
Monte Carlo Simulation and Probability: The Interface
Lotto Nonsense: the World is Asking to be Deceived
March Madness Grips the USA
Coincidences and Impossibilities
Euler's Number e is Everywhere
The 10 Most Beautiful Formulas in Probability
Beating the Odds on the Lottery
Investing and Gambling with Kelly
To Stop or Not to Stop? That is the Question
Henk Tijms is a Dutch Emeritus Professor of Applied Mathematics. He taught applied probability and stochastic optimization for more than 30 years, and has written several widely used textbooks on these subjects, including the 2017 text “Probability: A Lively Introduction”.
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