"This informative book is a lively, quick read for anyone who wonders about the science of predicting what's next and how deeply it affects our lives."
"This breezy book shows why probability theory, though not Pascal and Fermat's last, was undoubtedly their most important theorem."
"Mr. Devlin shares the great mathematicians' correspondence, walks readers through critical mathematical problems and contextualizes it all in a lively narrative. The book is a refreshing testimony to the rewards of thinking rationally about how future events might unfold.... [A] rewarding read.... Mr. Devlin does a remarkable job of showing just how much derived from the history-changing Pascal-Fermat correspondence."
"This book is not only about mathematics. It is also a tale of how mathematics, and science in general, is really done.... Very well written and accessible to everyone.... This is highly recommended reading.... [It] should find a place in every mathematician's library."
"Devlin depicts Fermat as leading Pascal toward correct understanding of probability's underlying logic, through quotation of the entire letter and a characteristically clear explanation of the logic of probability with which Pascal struggled. A rewarding account for math buffs."
David Berlinski, author of "The Devil's Delusion" and "A Tour of the Calculus"
"I've been a faithful reader of Keith Devlin's work for a long time, and this is the best thing I've seen from his pen. It combines a lightness of touch, an understanding of the sources, an absence of anysort of intrusive self, and a sensitive and error-free presentation of the mathematics."
William Dunham, author of "The Calculus Gallery" and "Journey Through Genius"
"Keith Devlin's delightful little book traces the origins of probability theory and introduces the mathematicians--from Pascal and Fermat to Bernoulli and de Moivre--who created it."
Amir Aczel, author of "Fermat's Last Theorem" and "Chance"
"In this enchanting romp through the early history of probability theory, Devlin does a great job explaining the role probability plays in modern life, and shows how probabilistic reasoning, which we almost take for granted today, was a product of the minds of brilliant mathematicians almost four centuries ago."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Keith Devlin is a Senior Researcher and Executive Director at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information, a Consulting Professor in the Department of Mathematics, and a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network. National Public Radio's "Math Guy," he is the author of over twenty-five books. He lives in Stanford, California.