Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review: The Improbability Principle by David J Hand

Introduction
 
  • ISBN : 9788184004922
  • Genre: Non Fiction
  • Publishers: Random House
  • Price: Rs. 562/- (I got this book for review from the publisher)

In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they’re commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month.
 
But Hand is no believer in superstitions, prophecies, or the paranormal. His definition of “miracle” is thoroughly rational. No mystical or supernatural explanation is necessary to understand why someone is lucky enough to win the lottery twice, or is destined to be hit by lightning three times and still survive. All we need, Hand argues, is a firm grounding in a powerful set of laws: the laws of inevitability, of truly large numbers, of selection, of the probability lever, and of near enough.

Together, these constitute Hand’s groundbreaking Improbability Principle. And together, they explain why we should not be so surprised to bump into a friend in a foreign country, or to come across the same unfamiliar word four times in one day. Hand wrestles with seemingly less explicable questions as well: what the Bible and Shakespeare have in common, why financial crashes are par for the course, and why lightning does strike the same place (and the same person) twice. Along the way, he teaches us how to use the Improbability Principle in our own lives—including how to cash in at a casino and how to recognize when a medicine is truly effective.
 
An irresistible adventure into the laws behind “chance” moments and a trusty guide for understanding the world and universe we live in, The Improbability Principle will transform how you think about serendipity and luck, whether it’s in the world of business and finance or you’re merely sitting in your backyard, tossing a ball into the air and wondering where it will land.
 
Behind The book
 
Source: Google Images


About the author
 
David J. Hand is Senior Research Investigator and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London, and Chief Scientific Advisor to Winton Capital Management. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and a recipient of the Guy Medal of the Royal Statistical Society. He has served (twice) as President of the Royal Statistical Society, and is on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority.
 
He has published 300 scientific papers and 25 books: his next book, The Improbability Principle, is due out in February 2014. He has broad research interests in areas including classification, data mining, anomaly detection, and the foundations of statistics. His applications interests include psychology, physics, and the retail credit industry - he and his research group won the 2012 Credit Collections and Risk Award for Contributions to the Credit Industry. He was made OBE for services to research and innovation in 2013

Me thinks
 
One confession before I start the review – I used to hate statistics as a subject in school and college with a madness that only I was aware of. Simply put it was beyond me. That’s it. When I saw this book in the list by Random house I Google-d the book as always and was amazed at what was there in the book.
The probability factor has always fascinated me with it’s could bes and would bes here the author has taken it to an altogether new depths completely. The beauty of such books is that though the author is a renowned in that field the book is written for a novice. Someone who has interest in that topic and wants to know more about the topic in detail would love reading this book. The author has done an amazing work in bringing together some of the most profound theories in the simplest manner in this book making it a thoroughly enjoyable read.
 
Strongly recommended for people who enjoy reading topic based books coming from such renowned maestros !


Foodie Verdict
 
This book is like butter cookies-  crunchy and delicious!
Source: Google Images


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