Publisher:

Thunder's Mouth Press

Number of Pages:

160

Price:

21.00

ISBN:

1-56858-316-8

Amir D. Aczel’s *Chance: A Guide to Gambling, Love, The Stock Market, & Just About Everything Else*, is an entertaining little book, as the title implies. Since the book assumes no prior knowledge of probability theory, it lends itself nicely as supplemental reading for students in introductory courses in probability as well as statistics.

The question of what is randomness is answered in a chapter five pages long. Then follows short chapters on Pascal’s triangle, the inspection paradox, and the birthday problem. The book really comes into its own in the last third where the author takes up additional uses of probability theory. It is good to see a book like this giving a discussion of coincidences we experience every day but do not discuss much in our classes. A student audience may find good guidance in the chapter on how to succeed in love and other activities as well as how to make decisions under uncertainties. Bayes' theorem gets its own well-written chapter. I do not understand why the chapter on the normal distribution is included, it does not seem to add much to the presentation. Also, I do not understand why there is an appendix written by Brad Johnson on various card games and why that material is not integrated into the earlier parts of the book.

Gudmund Iversen is Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Swarthmore College.

Date Received:

Friday, October 1, 2004

Reviewable:

Publication Date:

2004

Format:

Hardcover

Audience:

Category:

General

Gudmund R. Iversen

01/1/2005

Publish Book:

Modify Date:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

- Log in to post comments