## Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives

### Peter Olofsson

3.25 avg rating
( 8 ratings by Goodreads )

What are the chances?

Find out in this entertaining exploration ofprobabilities in our everyday lives

“If there is anything you want to know, or remind yourself, about probabilities, then look no further than this comprehensive, yet wittily written and enjoyable, compendium of how to apply probability calculations in real-world situations.”
Keith Devlin, Stanford University, National Public Radio’s “Math Guy” and author of The Math Gene and The Math Instinct

“A delightful guide to the sometimes counterintuitive discipline of probability. Olofsson points out major ideas here, explains classic puzzles there, and everywhere makes free use of witty vignettes to instruct and amuse.”
John Allen Paulos, Temple University, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

“Beautifully written, with fascinating examples and tidbits of information. Olofsson gently and persuasively shows us how to think clearly about the uncertainty that governs our lives.”
John Haigh, University of Sussex, author of Taking Chances: Winning with Probability

From probable improbabilities to regular irregularities, Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives investigates the often-surprising effects of risk and chance in our everyday lives. With examples ranging from WWII espionage to the O. J. Simpson trial, from bridge to blackjack, from Julius Caesar to Jerry Seinfeld, the reader is taught how to think straight in a world of randomness and uncertainty.

Throughout the book, readers learn:

• Why it is not that surprising for someone to win the lottery twice
• How a faulty probability calculation forced an innocent woman to spend three years in prison
• How to place bets if you absolutely insist on gambling
• How a newspaper turned an opinion poll into one of the greatest election blunders in history

Educational, eloquent, and entertaining, Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives is the ideal companion for anyone who wants to obtain a better understanding of the mathematics of chance.

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PETER OLOFSSON, PHD, is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Olofsson is an active researcher in the field of applied probability and is an experienced teacher. He is the author of the textbook Probability, Statistics, and Stochastic Processes, also from Wiley.

Review:

"...the book will have much appeal to mathematics majors, who may enjoy reading it before, during, or after an undergraduate probability course." (Mathematical Reviews, 2008d)

"...interesting vignettes, excellent problems, and good ideas for presenting concepts...succeeds in its goal to help the reader think more clearly about probabilities." (Mathematics Teacher, October 2007)

"...a very useful and valuable book..." (CHOICE, June 2007)

"...an engaging writing style and clever examples that make for a fine addition to the popular literature on probability." (MAA Reviews, December 15, 2006)

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## 1.Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives

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