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A drunkard's walk is a type of random statistical distribution with important applications in scientific studies ranging from biology to astronomy. Mlodinow, a visiting lecturer at Caltech and coauthor with Stephen Hawking of A Briefer History of Time, leads readers on a walk through the hills and valleys of randomness and how it directs our lives more than we realize. Mlodinow introduces important historical figures such as Bernoulli, Laplace and Pascal, emphasizing their ideas rather than their tumultuous private lives. Mlodinow defines such tricky concepts as regression to the mean and the law of large numbers, which should help readers as they navigate the daily deluge of election polls and new studies on how to live to 100. The author also carefully avoids veering off into the terra incognita of chaos theory aside from a brief mention of the famous butterfly effect, although he might have spent a little more time on the equally famous n-body problem that led to chaos theory. Books on randomness and statistics line library shelves, but Mlodinow will help readers sort out Mark Twain's damn lies from meaningful statistics and the choices we face every day. (May 13)
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“A wonderfully readable guide to how the mathematical laws of randomness affect our lives.”--Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time
"The Drunkard's Walk is a magnificent exploration of the role that chance plays in our lives. Often historical, occasionally hysterical, and consistently smart and funny, this book challenges everything we think we know about how the world works. The probability is high that you will be entertained and enlightened by this intelligent charmer."--Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness
"Fast, chatty, very readable, and a fine introduction to ideas that everyone should know." --David Berlinski, author of A Tour of the Calculus
“A primer on the science of probability.”–The Washington Post Book World
“Mlodinow writes in a breezy style, interspersing probabilistic mind-benders with portraits of theorists ...The result is a readable crash course in randomness.”–The New York Times Book Review
“A jaunty read worthy of any beach or airplane. . . . Mlodinow has an intimate perspective on randomness. . . . He draws direct links from the works of history's greatest minds to the deeds of today's not-so-great ones, explaining phenomena like the prosecutor's fallacy (which helped acquit O.J. Simpson) and the iPod shuffle function (eventually programmed not to be truly random, lest songs hit upon eerie playing streaks).”–The Austin Chronicle
“Please read The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow, a history, explanation, and exaltation of probability theory. . . . Mlodinow . . . thinks in equations but explains in anecdote, simile, and occasional bursts of neon. . . .The results are mind-bending.”–Fortune
“Challenges our intuitions about probability and explores how, by understanding randomness, we can better grasp our world.”–Seed Magazine
“[Mlodinow is] the perfect guy to reveal the ways unrelated elements can relate and connect.”–The Miami Herald
Thoughtful, compelling, interesting , funny - a great exploration of how randomness affects our lives and how logical flaws in the application of the laws of probability can have... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Foodie
It's a little "deep" sometimes for us ordinary folks, but Mlodinow style keeps you interested as he does his best to get to your level. Read morePublished 1 month ago by bert
This book will change your life!!!lt is brilliant! And it is true,,,,,,,,,,,,the God waves.Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth Green
I've listing to this book 3 times... Brilliant!
If you are interested in probability and randomness this is the book for you. Read more
Clearly and completely explains how little control we have over events in our lives. The author writes in an entertaining fashion with many good examples in addition to the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by barbara r okun
This book nudges us along the way. There is no guarantee it will make us smarter or more successful, but it might just be one of those events in our lives we will look back on... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2013 by Terry Wilton
Excellent book on the history of statistics. Mlodinow does a beautiful of job of going through a basic course in statistics with insightful applications, while looking at the lives... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2012 by Juan S. Morales