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Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
by Ben Mezrich
This book could be put under Mathematical Hands-0n Projects as well. A page-turner. Some parts are so amazing that they are almost unbelievable. A fascinating story. The author is superb writer and story teller with the ability to weave the excitement of a Las Vegas casino, and the mathematics of card counting with the interpersonal dynamics of the participants.
In 1993, when Kevin Lewis was 20 years old, he was invited to join the MIT Blackjack Team, organized by a former math instructor, who said, "Blackjack is beatable." Expanding on the "hi-lo" card-counting techniques popularized by Edward Thorp in his 1962 book, Beat the Dealer, the MIT group developed more advanced team strategies which were legal. Backed by anonymous investors, the team checked into various Las Vegas hotels under assumed names and, pretending not to know each other, communicated in the casinos with gestures and card-count code words. Taking advantage of the statistical nature of blackjack, the team raked in millions before casinos caught on and pursued them. In a closing essay, Lewis details the intricacies of card counting.


Conned Again, Watson!: Cautionary Tales of Logic, Math, and Probability
by Colin Bruce
The author re-creates the atmosphere of the original Sherlock Holmes Stories to shed light on an enduring truth – our reliance on common sense coupled with our ignorance of mathematics often gets us into trouble. Sherlock Holmes uses his deep understanding of probability, statistics, decision theory and game theory to solve crimes and protect the innocent. With short stories crafted in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author lets Sherlock Holmes guide Watson and his clients through elementary mathematical reasoning. This kind of thinking is growing more and more important as poll numbers, economic indicators, and scientific data find their way into the mainstream, and Bruce's gambit pays off handsomely for the reader. The author is a physicist and science writer living in Oxford, England. He is an expert in mathematical paradoxes and a lover of mysteries. The book is a marvelous way to learn about probability, statistics, and math by watching Sherlock Holmes help victims exploited by evil con men.


Does God Play Dice: The New Mathematics of Chaos
by Ian Stewart
The science of chaos is forcing scientists to rethink Einstein's fundamental assumptions regarding the way the universe behaves. This book reveals a strange universe in which nothing may be as it seems. Familiar geometrical shapes such as circles and ellipses give way to infinitely complex structures known as fractals; the fluttering of a butterfly's wings can change the weather; the gravitational attraction of a creature in a distant galaxy can change the fate of the solar system. This revised and updated edition includes three chapters on the prediction and control of chaotic systems; new information regarding the solar system; and an account of complexity theory is also incorporated. Thecomplex mathematics of chaos is made both accessible and entertaining.


Dueling Idiots & Other Probability Puzzlers
by Paul J. Nahin
The author is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire where he teaches an undergraduate course in probability theory. "What he offers here is the mathematical equivalent of a collection of Far Side cartoons: a series of quirky vignettes, each with an amusing punchline that reveals something new about an offbeat aspect of reality." For example, what are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations. Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions to the workings of probability. Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds.


Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life
by Gerd Gigereenzer

Games of No Chance
by Richard Nowakowski
This book, a collection of 35 articles on combinatorial games (games not involving chance or hidden information) plus a bibliography. It will be the newest addition to the literature on combinatorial games, covering many aspects of the current research and will be sought after as a state-of-the-art report in the field. (Combinatorial games are two-person perfect-information games.)


Probability 1: Why There Must Be Intelligent Life in the Universe
by Amir D. Aczel
In a universe infinitely large, what is the probability of intelligent life on another planet? Sounds like a trick question, but for anyone versed in cosmology and statistics, the answer is 1; that is, there must be life on at least one other planet in the universe. This is Amir Aczel's theorem. But, as physicist Enrico Fermi once asked, if that's true, where is everyone? Aczel tackles that paradox after he goes through the statistical calculations for the probability of intelligent life, considering factors such as how many stars are in a galaxy, how many of those stars might be hospitable, how many might have planets, and how many planets might have environments suitable to support life as we know it (or as we don't). Aczel also provides an overview of the relevant developments in astronomy and biology--laying the groundwork to show that the universe's chemistry must add up to life. After teasing readers with scientific history, Probability 1 delivers on its promise to prove Aczel's conjecture through a clearly explained application of known statistical theory to the chaos of the universe.


What Are the Chances
by Bart H. Holland
"Though there are many books on the market that deal with applications of the theory of probabilities and statistics, none contain the variety of examples taken from everyday life found in this book. Holland first arouses the curiosity of the reader, then satisfies it in a remarkable way."

The author takes us on a tour of the world of probability. From weaving together tales from real life, from the spread of the bubonic plague in medieval Europe or the number of Prussian cavalrymen kicked to death by their horses, through IQ test results and deaths by voodoo curse, to why you have to wait in line for rides at Disneyworld. As Holland explains, even chance events are governed by the laws of probability and follow regular patterns called statistical laws. He shows how such laws are successfully applied, with great benefit, in fields as diverse as the insurance industry, the legal system, medical research, aerospace engineering, and climatology. Whether you have only a distant recollection of high school algebra or use differential equations every day, this book offers examples of the impact of chance that will amuse and astonish.


What Are the Odds: Chance in Everyday Life
by Michael Orkin
An entertaining and accessible introduction to how chance works. A great primer that everyone, not just gamblers, needs in order to understand the difference between luck and reality. Orkin is professor of statistics at California State University-Hayward. He is interviewed frequently on radio and television shows nationwide.