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Will You Be Alive 10 Years From Now

Author: Paul J. Nahin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400848377
Size: 79.68 MB
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What are the chances of a game-show contestant finding a chicken in a box? Is the Hanukkah dreidel a fair game? Will you be alive ten years from now? These are just some of the one-of-a-kind probability puzzles that acclaimed popular math writer Paul Nahin offers in this lively and informative book. Nahin brings probability to life with colorful and amusing historical anecdotes as well as an electrifying approach to solving puzzles that illustrates many of the techniques that mathematicians and scientists use to grapple with probability. He looks at classic puzzles from the past--from Galileo's dice-tossing problem to a disarming dice puzzle that would have astonished even Newton--and also includes a dozen challenge problems for you to tackle yourself, with complete solutions provided in the back of the book. Nahin then presents twenty-five unusual probability puzzlers that you aren't likely to find anywhere else, and which range in difficulty from ones that are easy but clever to others that are technically intricate. Each problem is accompanied by an entertaining discussion of its background and solution, and is backed up by theory and computer simulations whenever possible in order to show how theory and computer experimentation can often work together on probability questions. All the MATLAB® Monte Carlo simulation codes needed to solve the problems computationally are included in the book.With his characteristic wit, audacity, and insight, Nahin demonstrates why seemingly simple probability problems can stump even the experts.

The Best Writing On Mathematics 2014

Author: Mircea Pitici
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865301
Size: 45.39 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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 2014 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 John Conway presents examples of arithmetical statements that are almost certainly true but likely unprovable; Carlo Séquin explores, compares, and illustrates distinct types of one-sided surfaces known as Klein bottles; Keith Devlin asks what makes a video game good for learning mathematics and shows why many games fall short of that goal; Jordan Ellenberg reports on a recent breakthrough in the study of prime numbers; Stephen Pollard argues that mathematical practice, thinking, and experience transcend the utilitarian value of mathematics; and much, much more. In addition to presenting the year’s most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes an introduction by editor Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us—and where it is headed.

Duelling Idiots And Other Probability Puzzlers

Author: Paul J. Nahin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400843049
Size: 25.92 MB
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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. If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win? What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: "The Blind Spider and the Fly," for example, is a clever variation of a "random walk" problem, and "Duelling Idiots" and "The Underdog and the World Series" are straightforward introductions to binomial distributions. Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.

Digital Dice

Author: Paul J. Nahin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691158215
Size: 43.10 MB
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Some probability problems are so difficult that they stump the smartest mathematicians. But even the hardest of these problems can often be solved with a computer and a Monte Carlo simulation, in which a random-number generator simulates a physical process, such as a million rolls of a pair of dice. This is what Digital Dice is all about: how to get numerical answers to difficult probability problems without having to solve complicated mathematical equations. Popular-math writer Paul Nahin challenges readers to solve twenty-one difficult but fun problems, from determining the odds of coin-flipping games to figuring out the behavior of elevators. Problems build from relatively easy (deciding whether a dishwasher who breaks most of the dishes at a restaurant during a given week is clumsy or just the victim of randomness) to the very difficult (tackling branching processes of the kind that had to be solved by Manhattan Project mathematician Stanislaw Ulam). In his characteristic style, Nahin brings the problems to life with interesting and odd historical anecdotes. Readers learn, for example, not just how to determine the optimal stopping point in any selection process but that astronomer Johannes Kepler selected his second wife by interviewing eleven women. The book shows readers how to write elementary computer codes using any common programming language, and provides solutions and line-by-line walk-throughs of a MATLAB code for each problem. Digital Dice will appeal to anyone who enjoys popular math or computer science. In a new preface, Nahin wittily addresses some of the responses he received to the first edition.

Math Bytes

Author: Tim Chartier
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691160603
Size: 44.91 MB
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Offers a light-hearted take on how mathematics and computing relate to the world around us.

Time Machines

Author: Paul J. Nahin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780387985718
Size: 78.77 MB
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Time Machines takes you on an exhilarating journey through the intriguing theories of scientists and the far-flung imaginations of writers. It explores the ideas of time travel from the first account in English literature to the latest theories of physicists such as Kip Thorne and Igor Novikov. This very readable work covers a variety of topics including the history of time travel in fiction; the fundamental scientific concepts of time, spacetime, and the fourth dimension; the speculations of Einstein, Richard Feynman, Kurt Gödel, and others; time travel paradoxes, and much more. For anyone who shares a fascination with time travel, Time Machines is an engrossing study of what writers have imagined and what scientists may some day make possible. "Here's a gem of a book...all peppered with delightful notes...I can't turn a page without finding a jewel."Clifford Stoll, University of California, Berkeley, author of "The Cuckoo's Egg""...I have been struck by the richness and complexity of the tapestry of ideas that Nahin presents...may well remain the most readable and complete treatise on time travel in science and science fiction." Kip S. Thorne, The Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology"if, like me, you are a child at heart, the real fun lies in the zany stories and wild speculations" Physics World

When Least Is Best

Author: Paul J. Nahin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841364
Size: 16.78 MB
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What is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet? Why does light move through glass in the least amount of time possible? How can lost hikers find their way out of a forest? What will rainbows look like in the future? Why do soap bubbles have a shape that gives them the least area? By combining the mathematical history of extrema with contemporary examples, Paul J. Nahin answers these intriguing questions and more in this engaging and witty volume. He shows how life often works at the extremes--with values becoming as small (or as large) as possible--and how mathematicians over the centuries have struggled to calculate these problems of minima and maxima. From medieval writings to the development of modern calculus to the current field of optimization, Nahin tells the story of Dido's problem, Fermat and Descartes, Torricelli, Bishop Berkeley, Goldschmidt, and more. Along the way, he explores how to build the shortest bridge possible between two towns, how to shop for garbage bags, how to vary speed during a race, and how to make the perfect basketball shot. Written in a conversational tone and requiring only an early undergraduate level of mathematical knowledge, When Least Is Best is full of fascinating examples and ready-to-try-at-home experiments. This is the first book on optimization written for a wide audience, and math enthusiasts of all backgrounds will delight in its lively topics.

The Drunkard S Walk

Author: Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307275175
Size: 11.31 MB
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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.

A First Course In Probability

Author: Sheldon M. Ross
Publisher: Pearson College Division
ISBN: 9780321794772
Size: 27.88 MB
Format: PDF
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A First Course in Probability, Ninth Edition, features clear and intuitive explanations of the mathematics of probability theory, outstanding problem sets, and a variety of diverse examples and applications. This book is ideal for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate level introduction to probability for math, science, engineering and business students. It assumes a background in elementary calculus.

Introduction To Probability

Author: Charles Miller Grinstead
Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.
ISBN: 0821894145
Size: 10.32 MB
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This text is designed for an introductory probability course at the university level for sophomores, juniors, and seniors in mathematics, physical and social sciences, engineering, and computer science. It presents a thorough treatment of ideas and techniques necessary for a firm understanding of the subject. The text is also recommended for use in discrete probability courses. The material is organized so that the discrete and continuous probability discussions are presented in a separate, but parallel, manner. This organization does not emphasize an overly rigorous or formal view of probability and therefore offers some strong pedagogical value. Hence, the discrete discussions can sometimes serve to motivate the more abstract continuous probability discussions. Features: Key ideas are developed in a somewhat leisurely style, providing a variety of interesting applications to probability and showing some nonintuitive ideas. Over 600 exercises provide the opportunity for practicing skills and developing a sound understanding of ideas. Numerous historical comments deal with the development of discrete probability. The text includes many computer programs that illustrate the algorithms or the methods of computation for important problems. The book is a beautiful introduction to probability theory at the beginning level. The book contains a lot of examples and an easy development of theory without any sacrifice of rigor, keeping the abstraction to a minimal level. It is indeed a valuable addition to the study of probability theory. --Zentralblatt MATH