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Understanding probability. Chance rules in everyday life. (English) Zbl 1073.60001
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (ISBN 0-521-54036-4/pbk; 0-521-83329-9/hbk). x, 380 p. (2004).
The book provides an introduction to the essentials of probability theory. The material is divided into two parts. In the first part key concepts of probability theory are discussed in an informal manner and are illustrated with numerous worked examples. The topics addressed include, e.g., random variables and their simulation, expectation, random walks, chance trees, conditional probability and Bayes’ rule, the central limit theorem and the law of large numbers. Most of the examples are taken from lotteries and gambling, some examples deal with medical tests and stock prices. Additional problems accompany each chapter.
The second part covers the theoretical background of the material. The eight chapters of this part are concerned with the foundations of probability theory, conditional probability and Bayes, basic rules for discrete random variables, continuous random variables, jointly distributed random variables, the multivariate normal distribution, conditional distributions and generating functions, respectively. An appendix deals with counting methods and the exponential function.
The book is written in a narrative yet precise style which makes it enjoyable to read. It is well suited for first courses in probability for students of engineering or computer science. It may also be used as additional material in other courses or for self-study.

60-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to probability theory
60A99 Foundations of probability theory