Weighing the Odds: A Course in Probability and Statistics by David Williams
Weighing the Odds: A Course in Probability and Statistics David Williams ebook
ISBN: 052100618X, 9780521006187
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
As I've written often, the most amazing coincidence of all would be the complete absence of all coincidences. The idea of probability itself is present in such words as “chance,” “likelihood,” “fate,” “odds,” “gods,” “fortune,” “luck,” “happenstance,” “random,” and many others. In order to price a life insurance policy correctly, insurance companies of course have to weigh the odds that they will have to pay the death benefit as well as to determine when they have to pay it (payment now is much more costly than payment in ten-years' time). Chances are good they'll bite, since from their perspective you look like a stock-picking genius. Wouldn't it be great if there were a statistics book that made histograms, probability distributions, and chi square analysis more enjoyable than going to the dentist? The New York Times article, “The Mathematics of Changing Your Mind,” written by John Paulos discusses how statistics can be applied to more than just math but to every aspect of life. Obviously it is extremely difficult to predict In order to establish statistical probabilities, historic data about life spans and health factors is compiled for large populations of people. The resulting Over the course of 130 years, that equates to an increase of six hundredths of a degree Celsius (margin of error of 3.9 hundredths at two std deviations). Jaynes' demonstration that, in the face of ignorance as to how a particular statistic was generated, the best approach is to maximize the (informational) entropy. Course blog for INFO 2040/CS 2850/Econ 2040/SOC 2090. I'll close with perhaps the most fundamental tension between stories and statistics. Presbyterian minister, Thomas Bayes, discovered a theorem that would revolutionize how people think when it comes to making decisions.
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