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Probably Not: Future Prediction Using Probability and Statistical Inference 1st Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0470184011
ISBN-10: 0470184019
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Interscience; 1 edition (April 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470184019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470184011
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,432,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David J. Aldous on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in what I call the "textbook lite" style, intermediate between college texts teaching one to do math probability calculations in systematic detail, and the "popular science" style with words but no math. The contents might be put into 4 categories.

(1) Initial chapters give clear and unhurried explanations (illustrated by graphs and tables) of the basic math surrounding probability distributions, averages and standard deviations, and how the Normal distribution arises in dice-throwing or random walk.

(2) Scattered throughout the book are the classics of elementary math probability: the Binomial and Poisson distributions; conditional probability; Bayes rule illustrated by medical diagnosis; the birthday problem; Monte Hall; Benford's law and Simpson's paradox; gamblers ruin; analysis of games such as double-up-when-you-lose, and the Deal-or-no-Deal TV show.

(3) "Popular science" topics such as social networks, stock markets, statistical mechanics, deterministic chaos.

The preceding material is presented in a clear and readable way, though not markedly distinct from many previous books of varying styles, for instance (in the same "textbook lite" style) Probabilities: The Little Numbers That Rule Our Lives or Chance: The Life of Games & the Game of Life.
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