Friday, March 28, 2008

Taking Chances

I've been dipping into John Haigh's excellent book on probability. Click on the image to buy it through the High Stakes gambling bookshop (I thought it made a change from Amazon) although I couldn't possibly condone spending any longer than necessary there.

It includes a new favourite statistic of all time. My old favourite (and how sad to have a favourite statistic you're possibly, or even probably, thinking) is that two thirds of accidents are caused by sober drivers.

My new favourite is that 99% of Belgians have more legs than average. Fantastic.

I think you can read the whole book online here if you want. Try the link to see if it works.

1 comment:

Ali said...

I've blogged this before, but it's sort of relevant.

I covered a maths class once who were doing simple probability along the lines of if you roll a dice, whats the probability you'd get a 6.

I had one student who kept insisting the answer was 1 in 2. Eventually, having failed miserably to explain, I asked her how she got 1 in 2 as her answer.

'Easy' she said. 'You either get a 6 or you don't'

With odds like that, I'm for the Lotto on Saturday