Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The Drunkard's walk : how randomness rules our lives / Leonard Mlodinow.

By: Mlodinow, Leonard, 1954-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2008Edition: 1st ed.Description: xi, 252 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780375424045; 0375424040.Subject(s): Random variables -- Popular works | Probabilities -- Popular works | Chance -- Popular worksDDC classification: 519.2
Contents:
Peering through the eyepiece of randomness : the hidden role of chance : when human beings can be outperformed by a rat -- The laws of truths and half-truths : the basic principles of probability and how they are abused : why a good story is often less likely to be true than a flimsy explanation -- Finding your way through a space of possibilities : a framework for thinking about random situations : from a gambler in plague-ridden Italy to Let's Make a Deal -- Tracking the pathways to success : how to count the number of ways in which events can happen, and why it matters : the mathematical meaning of expectation -- The dueling laws of large and small numbers : the extent to which probabilities are reflected in the results we observe : Zeno's paradox, the concept of limits, and beating the casino at roulette -- False positives and positive fallacies : how to adjust expectations in light of past events or new knowledge : mistakes in conditional probability from medical screening to the O.J. Simpson trial and the prosecutor's fallacy -- Measurement and the law of errors : the meaning and lack of meaning in measurements : the bell curve and wine ratings, political polls, grades, and the position of planets -- The order in chaos : how large numbers can wash out the disorder of randomness : or why 200,000,000 drivers form a creature of habit -- Illusions of patterns and patterns of illusion : why we are often fooled by the regularities in chance events : can a million consecutive zeroes or the success of Wall Street gurus be random? -- The drunkard's walk : why chance is a more fundamental conception than causality : Bruce Willis, Bill Gates, and the normal accident theory of life.
Summary: An irreverent look at how randomness influences our lives, and how our successes and failures are far more dependent on chance events than we recognize.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window Awards: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
QA273 .M63 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001932821

Includes bibliographical references and index.

An irreverent look at how randomness influences our lives, and how our successes and failures are far more dependent on chance events than we recognize.

Peering through the eyepiece of randomness : the hidden role of chance : when human beings can be outperformed by a rat -- The laws of truths and half-truths : the basic principles of probability and how they are abused : why a good story is often less likely to be true than a flimsy explanation -- Finding your way through a space of possibilities : a framework for thinking about random situations : from a gambler in plague-ridden Italy to Let's Make a Deal -- Tracking the pathways to success : how to count the number of ways in which events can happen, and why it matters : the mathematical meaning of expectation -- The dueling laws of large and small numbers : the extent to which probabilities are reflected in the results we observe : Zeno's paradox, the concept of limits, and beating the casino at roulette -- False positives and positive fallacies : how to adjust expectations in light of past events or new knowledge : mistakes in conditional probability from medical screening to the O.J. Simpson trial and the prosecutor's fallacy -- Measurement and the law of errors : the meaning and lack of meaning in measurements : the bell curve and wine ratings, political polls, grades, and the position of planets -- The order in chaos : how large numbers can wash out the disorder of randomness : or why 200,000,000 drivers form a creature of habit -- Illusions of patterns and patterns of illusion : why we are often fooled by the regularities in chance events : can a million consecutive zeroes or the success of Wall Street gurus be random? -- The drunkard's walk : why chance is a more fundamental conception than causality : Bruce Willis, Bill Gates, and the normal accident theory of life.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Incorporating a fast-paced mix of classic probability quandaries, current events, and background history, The Drunkard's Walk attempts to present the core concepts of probability theory and statistics in a format that is accessible to any motivated reader. Physicist Mlodinow (California Institute of Technology) steadily explains concepts in a manner lacking formulas and technical terminology, yet he succeeds in clearly explaining nonintuitive problems like the infamous Monty Hall problem. Though students in mathematics and related fields may find the topic coverage too simplistic, The Drunkard's Walk can serve as a helpful prelude to probability and statistics for students in other disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. Mlodinow has written for the television programs MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is the author of Euclid's Window (2001) and Feynman's Rainbow (2003), and coauthor, with Stephen Hawking, of A Briefer History of Time (2005). Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; undergraduates and graduate students. W. Van Arsdale Wayne State College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Leonard Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. He received bachelor's degrees in math and physics and a master's degree in physics from Brandeis University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Bantrell Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and then became an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany. <p> In the 1980s, he wrote for numerous television shows including MacGyver, Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Night Court. In 1993, he decided to switch to computer gaming and became producer, executive producer and designer of several award-winning games. From 1997 to 2003, he was the vice president for software development and then vice president and publisher for math education at Scholastic Inc. In 2005, he began teaching at the California Institute of Technology. <p> He is now a full-time writer. His books include Euclid's Window, Feynman's Rainbow, A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking, The Drunkard's Walk, The Grand Design with Stephen Hawking, and War of the Worldviews with Deepak Chopra. He has also written two children's books with Matt Costello: The Last Dinosaur and Titanic Cat. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.