Human beings have long been both fascinated and appalled by randomness. On the one hand, we love the thrill of a surprise party or the freedom of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are inexplicably delighted by strange coincidences and striking similarities. But we also hate uncertainty's dark side. From cancer to bird flu, diseases may strike with no apparent pattern. Terrorists attack, airplanes crash, bridges collapse, and we never know if we'll be that one-in-a-million statistic.In this entertaining look at the world of probabilities, Jeffrey Rosenthal, maths professor and improvisational comedian, explains the mechanics of randomness in fields as diverse as poker hands, email spam, crime statistics, opinion polls and lottery jackpots. Read this and chances are, you will never look at the world the same way again. The book discusses such topics as: from lottery jackpots to terrorist attacks, public opinion polls and margins of error, casino games, how probability can help fight spam e-mail, and many more.
Jeffrey S. Rosenthal is professor in the Department of Statistics, University of Toronto. He is also an improvisational comedian, amateur musician and computer game programmer. Struck by Lightning has been a bestseller in Canada.