Struck By Lightning

The Curious World of Probabilities

by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

On Sale: 08/01/2010

Struck By Lightning

The Curious World of Probabilities

by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

On Sale: 08/01/2010


About the Book

From lotteries, opinion polls and insurance to worries about murder rates, natural disasters and terrorism, probability plays a major part in our everyday lives—a part that is frequently and needlessly misunderstood. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, a math professor and improvisational comedian, comes to the rescue with this irreverent, bestselling exploration of the odds and oddities of randomness. Looking at such familiar topics as poker hands, e-mail spam, political elections and game shows, Struck by Lightning puts probability into perspective and has fun along the way.

Critical Praise

“[Jeffrey Rosenthal is] your favorite professor, the one who made a difficult subject easy to understand by illustrating insights with practical examples from the world around us.” — Michael Adams, author of Fire and Ice

“Writing in funny, easily understandable language aimed at non-mathematicians, [Rosenthal] shows how understanding the odds can give us a better idea of how the world works, and help us make better decisions about our lives.” — The Globe and Mail

“The kind of entertaining romp, grounded in quotidian anecdotes, that makes you feel a little smarter than you really are.” — Maclean’s

“Rosenthal is a light-hearted and entertaining writer. He reveals quirky numerical facts that may surprise you.” — Toronto Star

“Easily the most fun you can have with a statistician in the room.” — National Post

“Like Freakonomics, Struck by Lightning attacks conventional wisdom. When applied to business, Rosenthal’s book provides an insight into careful decision-making that puts facts ahead of emotions. It’s often a smarter bet to invest in a book that gives you new knowledge over one filled with simple old rules.” — Ottawa Citizen

“Even for the math challenged among us, Rosenthal makes numbers understandable. Rosenthal’s style is highly readable . . . . Numbers and logic and probability are not topics you’d think could be made lively or entertaining. But the probability that it can be done well by Rosenthal is pretty high.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Amaze your friends, confound your rivals. Buy Struck by Lightning and have some fun.” — Calgary Sun

“Rosenthal writes about his topic with such clarity and warmth that even the fiercest math-phobe will feel welcome.” — Calgary Herald

“Rosenthal succeeds in bringing mathematical theory to the masses, making it funny, non-apologetically geeky, and highly relevant.” — Quill & Quire

“Fate, random accidents and coincidence can largely be explained by math. If that sounds like Greek to you, try Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, an engaging and readable math whiz.” — Elle Canada

“Statistics and probability made fun, easy and useful for everyday life. . . [A] clever book.” — Publishers Weekly

“Rosenthal’s lucid and engaging book offers even those who are mathematically challenged a chance to learn the ‘probability perspective’—how to think rationally rather than emotionally about randomness. . . essential reading for politicians and journalists. An excellent primer on probability.” — The Guardian (UK)

“In a friendly, straightforward prose style that requires no special knowledge of mathematics, Rosenthal focuses on various human activities that illustrate probability theory . . . Puncture[s] a lot of ridiculous, outlandish hopes, while dismissing a lot of common fears.” — Sydney Morning Herald

“One of the most engaging books on statistics that I’ve come across.” — The Age (Australia)

“Entertaining? You can bet your life on it.” — Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia)

“An engaging book about the uncertainty randomness of our lives and how understanding the rules of probability can help us make better decisions.” — Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

“Rosenthal’s passion for mathematical probabilities sparkles in this entertaining and informative read.” — The Banner

“Jeffrey Rosenthal’s delightful book will enhance your feelings for probability and its odd relevance to so many aspects of life. If you read it, you will almost certainly not be struck by lightning.” — John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper



Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443401678
  • ISBN 10: 1443401676
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 08/01/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price:11.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : SCIENCE / General

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