- Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1523318678
- ISBN-13: 978-1523318674
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Probability: For the Enthusiastic Beginner 1st Edition
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About the Author
David Morin is a Lecturer and the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Physics Department at Harvard University. He received his A.B. in mathematics from Brown University and his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from Harvard University. He is the author of five books, including Introduction to Classical Mechanics (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Electricity and Magnetism (Cambridge University Press, co-author, 2013), and Special Relativity: For the Enthusiastic Beginner (2017). When not writing textbooks, thinking of physics limericks, or conjuring up new problems whose answers involve e or the golden ratio, he can be found running along the Charles River or hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Resources for his books, along with other educational material, can be found on his Harvard webpage.
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Top customer reviews
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"Do not inject opinion. To air one's views gratuitously is to imply that the demand for them is brisk, which may not be the case...."
The first chapter is 56 pages long. However, when it comes to teaching and learning probability, this is the most fruitful 56 pages that I have ever seen. If you have struggled with Combinatorics, like I have, reading Chapter 1 of this book should clear much of the fog. The author doesn't assume that the reader has relevant experience in Combinatorics, which he defines as "The study of how to count things."
The author avoids the irritating phrase "it can be shown that." Rather he shows you how to "count things" as he develops the relationships used to "count things." You may have encountered the relationships he develops in the past. However, the author's explanations provides more details which makes the concepts more plausible. For example, he uses Venn Diagrams when developing probabilities for dependent events and the Probability Square when developing probabilities for independent events. To some this may seem trivial and/or obvious. However, this may not be the case for those who are studying these concepts for the first time.
This book is written in a manner that covers a broad audience interested in learning probability. You should have a very good background in at least algebra. This book is designed for more than just scratiching the surface of Probability. This may be the motivation behind the subtitle..."For the Enthusiastic Beginner."
The seven Chapters cover:
Chapter 3....Expectation values
Chapter 5....Gaussian approximations
Chapter 6....Correlation and regression
The author solves many example problems in each chapter as aids to learning. There are also end of chapter problems with detailed solutions. Each chapter ends with a summary, which precedes the end of chapter exercises. It is noteworthy that Chapter 3 involves topics that are encountered in statistics. This is an additional plus that emphasizes the relationships between probability and statistics. This is a five star book.
This Harvard prof. was able to make probability fun for students, yet presented the material in a manner rigorous enough for any college/high school course.
I am familiar with over a dozen probability textbooks and they all present the material in the same way with the same tired arguments. This author must have thought long and hard about the best ways to present every idea. I am posting two figures that show just how much he's thought about teaching the subject: (1) I smiled when I saw this figure. After seeing this, I don't think students will mix-up permutations quite as much. (2) This figure shows how the Binomial, Gaussian, and Poisson distributions are related to one another via limits. This is difficult to teach, but this simple figures sums it up beautifully!
Looks like he's also spent quite a bit of time developing good exercises and problems in all chapters. More than enough for a single course.
The text is totally approachable, unpretentious, and it’s a fun read.
I’m thrilled I chose this text. I strongly recommend it to students and instructors alike.
Having read Kindle version, I have to say this replica format is vastly better than the original Kindle format as LaTex parts are usually scaled very poorly on original Kindle (although worse for smaller tablet/phone screens it seems).
The book covers all the fundamental entry subjects to probability navigating their logic effortlessly with the reader. The text focuses more on the intuitive understanding of logic rather than mathematically robust derivations, yet reading the book did not make me feel at all math deprived. Each point is made explicitly clear to the reader, next consolidated through a deluge of crystal clear examples. Also, nice touch to summarise main points after each part.
The only "negative" thing to voice here is that there is not a follow-up on this book perhaps with more focus on non-frequentist interpretations, or that as of yet, similarly great introductory texts are not available for other branches of fundamental mathematics such as linear algebra or calculus. I am sure the author would make also these subjects come alive with ease as he did with Probability: For the Enthusiastic Beginner.