Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers has 40 ratings and 8 reviews. David said: This is a very good book about methods for computing probability. This book comprises 21 problems in probability, some having several parts, that are fairly discursively set out over 65 pages. Their solutions occupy 95 pages. Review of Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers, Paul J. Nahin: a very good read, a very useful book, very nice problems.

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What are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations.

Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions duellng the workings of probability.

Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers by Paul J. J. Nahin

Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds. If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win?

What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? puazlers

Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers

The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.

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In Praise of Simple Physics: If duelists place one bullet in one six-shooter and take turns firing at each other, what’s the chance that the guy with the first shot wins?

Though probability problems can look, from afar, like extrapolations of common sense, many require mental contortions and counterintuitive realizations that make the right solutions hard to find. Those solutions, in turn, lead readers into neat concepts from higher mathematicsDthe Markov chain that involves matrices and the field called geometric probability. Nahin has written neither an academic book, nor one for an audience of novices: The volume thus has three parts of roughly equal length, all packed with graphs and equations.

The first gives “The Problems” and the second yields “The Solutions”; the third explains how computers generate random “more precisely called pseudo-random” numbers, and concludes with a series of programs that simulate the problems in part one.

Nahin’s sophisticated puzzles, and their accompanying explanations, have a far better than even chance of fascinating and preoccupying the mathematically literate readership they seek.

The Solutions – Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers [Book]

Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc. These puzzles invite the reader to think intuitively, mathematically, and creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in lighthearted, often counterintuitive ways to a diverse collection of practical and speculative situations.

They also offer a wealth of topics for undergraduate projects. Those duelling idiots are fighting over a goldmine. What Paul Nahin offers is essentially the mathematical equivalent of a collection of Far Side cartoons: Its light-hearted way of explaining serious subjects is a refreshing approach.

See all Editorial Reviews. Product details File Size: July 22, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 3 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

There was a problem filtering reviews probabipity now. Please try again later. I bought the book after reading the kindle sample. I find in the first section of the full version that this book might be useful “as a supplement as you take an elementary course in probability” I was looking for something a little simpler At least until you finish your elementary course in probability. The best puzzle books start with problems that are interesting and non trivial, and offer unexpected solutions.

They appeal to a crowd with different levels of education and offer a new idea or two to all. They will lead an unsuspecting layman to a new beautiful mathematical subject, and treat a pro with a lighthearted yet technically sound look at the concepts he is already familiar with.

To read it you must be more than familiar with probability theory, and at ease with going through rather tedious calculations and using otber. Yet all a sophisticated reader finds here is technical sloppiness and absence of fresh ideas. I am giving it two stars rather than one because it could provide some probability theory buff with a nice set of “real life” applications — good as an auxiliary text book for an undergraduate probability class e.


Apart from that, you will find a better puzzle book almost anywhere you look. This is yet another excellent contribution by professor Paul Nahin. The format of this book is different from his previous texts, but the high quality content is still there. The book is divided into three main parts. In the first part he presents the problems and elaborates on their history, if any, and provides hints or solves a related probxbility.

In the second part, he provides complete solutions to the problems, both analytical and through computer simulation in most cases. The book also includes a chapter on random number generation, a idkots element of Montecarlo puzzlesr. Some knowledge of basic probability and random variables puzzelrs required to fully understand the problems and solutions. Also, knowledge of calculus is needed particularly integral calculus.

The computer simulations, however, can be rewritten using any languange. Duleling, I prefer Probabikity and that is what I used to run some of the simulations.

I believe that the computer programs could have been included in a CD or diskette, or a download site could have been used. Then, the 67 or so pages dedicated to these programs, could have been used to provide additional problems! Probabiloty all 3 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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