Ten Great Ideas About Chance

Ten Great Ideas About Chance Book Cover Ten Great Ideas About Chance
Persi Diaconis & Brian Skyrms
Princeton University Press

A book that will appeal to the maths and science geeks at first glance, considering ten of the past major breakthroughs that brought change to statistics and probabilities, yet something that can appeal to the curious, generalist reader too.  These changes have been quite pivotal, having a very broad impact, and within the book the authors subject them to technical and philosophical scrutiny.
To a non-mathematician this was a particularly fascinating topic to consider. The book brings to life many ‘everyday’ things, such as chance and probability – something that one takes for granted without knowing the back story or deeper implication. For a more involved specialist, they may form an entirely different connection, since the book manages to be attractive to both audience groups through its informed, accessible and engaging writing style. A few myths and misunderstandings may even be corrected along the way.
This can be one of those books that you hadn’t considered you needed, but you will be glad you have read. It certainly can be a book that is hard to put down. If you are not particularly au fait with mathematics, some of the book may appear unfathomable, but fortunately the accompanying text can come to your aid and you can always skip a bit of the ‘deep maths stuff’ without affecting your enjoyment of the story-at-hand.
Christmas is coming. This may deserve a space in a Christmas sack or two!