In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but.
Author: David J. Hand
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they're commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month. But Hand is no believer in superstitions, prophecies, or the paranormal. His definition of "miracle" is thoroughly rational. No mystical or supernatural explanation is necessary to understand why someone is lucky enough to win the lottery twice, or is destined to be hit by lightning three times and still survive. All we need, Hand argues, is a firm grounding in a powerful set of laws: the laws of inevitability, of truly large numbers, of selection, of the probability lever, and of near enough. Together, these constitute Hand's groundbreaking Improbability Principle. And together, they explain why we should not be so surprised to bump into a friend in a foreign country, or to come across the same unfamiliar word four times in one day. Hand wrestles with seemingly less explicable questions as well: what the Bible and Shakespeare have in common, why financial crashes are par for the course, and why lightning does strike the same place (and the same person) twice. Along the way, he teaches us how to use the Improbability Principle in our own lives—including how to cash in at a casino and how to recognize when a medicine is truly effective. An irresistible adventure into the laws behind "chance" moments and a trusty guide for understanding the world and universe we live in, The Improbability Principle will transform how you think about serendipity and luck, whether it's in the world of business and finance or you're merely sitting in your backyard, tossing a ball into the air and wondering where it will land.
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Do you want more free book summaries like this? Download our app for free at https://www.QuickRead.com/App and get access to hundreds of free book and audiobook summaries. The science behind miracles. Have you ever encountered something so striking that it made you say, “That’s a miracle!” Or perhaps you’ve experienced a phenomenon that makes you feel as though it’s too extraordinary to ever happen by chance. But the research of professor and statistician David J. Hand indicates that what we consider miraculous is actually both ordinary and easily predicted according to something called the improbability principle. This book unpacks the science and statistics behind seemingly miraculous phenomena.
A set of mathematical laws that I call the improbability principle tells us that we
should not be surprised by coincidences. In fact, we should expect coincidences
to happen. One of the key strands of this principle is the law of truly large
Author: Mircea Pitici
Publisher: Princeton University Press
This annual anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else—and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates. Here David Hand explains why we should actually expect unlikely coincidences to happen; Arthur Benjamin and Ethan Brown unveil techniques for improvising custom-made magic number squares; Dana Mackenzie describes how mathematicians are making essential contributions to the development of synthetic biology; Steven Strogatz tells us why it’s worth writing about math for people who are alienated from it; Lisa Rougetet traces the earliest written descriptions of Nim, a popular game of mathematical strategy; Scott Aaronson looks at the unexpected implications of testing numbers for randomness; and much, much more. In addition to presenting the year’s most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a bibliography of other notable writings and an introduction by the editor, Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us—and where it is headed.
In Dark Data, data expert David Hand takes us on a fascinating and enlightening journey into the world of the data we don't see.
Author: David J. Hand
Publisher: Princeton University Press
A practical guide to making good decisions in a world of missing data In the era of big data, it is easy to imagine that we have all the information we need to make good decisions. But in fact the data we have are never complete, and may be only the tip of the iceberg. Just as much of the universe is composed of dark matter, invisible to us but nonetheless present, the universe of information is full of dark data that we overlook at our peril. In Dark Data, data expert David Hand takes us on a fascinating and enlightening journey into the world of the data we don't see. Dark Data explores the many ways in which we can be blind to missing data and how that can lead us to conclusions and actions that are mistaken, dangerous, or even disastrous. Examining a wealth of real-life examples, from the Challenger shuttle explosion to complex financial frauds, Hand gives us a practical taxonomy of the types of dark data that exist and the situations in which they can arise, so that we can learn to recognize and control for them. In doing so, he teaches us not only to be alert to the problems presented by the things we don’t know, but also shows how dark data can be used to our advantage, leading to greater understanding and better decisions. Today, we all make decisions using data. Dark Data shows us all how to reduce the risk of making bad ones.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.
Author: David J. Hand
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Measurement is a fundamental concept that underpins almost every aspect of the modern world. It is central to the sciences, social sciences, medicine, and economics, but it affects everyday life. We measure everything - from the distance of far-off galaxies to the temperature of the air, levels of risk, political majorities, taxes, blood pressure, IQ, and weight. The history of measurement goes back to the ancient world, and its story has been one of gradual standardization. Today there are different types of measurement, levels of accuracy, and systems of units, applied in different contexts. Measurement involves notions of variability, accuracy, reliability, and error, and challenges such as the measurement of extreme values. In this Very Short Introduction, David Hand explains the common mathematical framework underlying all measurement, the main approaches to measurement, and the challenges involved. Following a brief historical account of measurement, he discusses measurement as used in the physical sciences and engineering, the life sciences and medicine, the social and behavioural sciences, economics, business, and public policy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book is about the function and use of official statistics.
Author: Paul Allin
Publisher: Springer Nature
This book is about the function and use of official statistics. It welcomes the aspiration for official statistics to be an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. The book identifies the political role of official statisticians, who decided what gets measured as well as how it is measured. While thousands of official statistics are published every year, and some are quoted by politicians, used by policy-makers or reported in the media, the authors observe that, in the main, official statistics do not feature much in everyday lives of people and businesses. The book concludes with suggestions for more that should be done, especially in the context of improving wellbeing and helping meet the worldwide set of sustainable development goals set for 2030.