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Mathematical Treasures - Pierre-Simon Laplace on Probability

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Pierre-Simon Laplace’s (1749–1827) Théorie Analytique des Probabilités (1812) really consisted of two books. The first book discusses generating functions for probability distributions. The second book presents a wider scope of topics including compound probabilities and even considers Buffon’s Needle Problem.

In the Introduction, Laplace stated the objectives of the book.

On the last page of the Introduction, Laplace gave credit to his colleagues.

These images from its George Arthur Plimpton Collection are presented through the courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasures - Pierre-Simon Laplace on Probability," Convergence (November 2019)

Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University