The Perfect Bet
How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling
Basic Books 2016
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in MathematicsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books in SportsNew Books Network March 31, 2016 Jim Stein
Adam Kucharski, who won the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, has delivered another winner in an area rife with both winners and losers. The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling (Basic Books, 2016) is a brilliant, fascinating, and sometimes slightly terrifying look at how math and science are not just conquering gambling, the algorithms that math has devised and the computerized means of implementing them are paradoxically simultaneously removing risk and creating a lot more of it.
Jim Stein is an emeritus professor of mathematics at California State University, Long Beach. As has been noted, the word ’emeritus’ comes from the Latin ‘ex’ — meaning ‘out’ — and ‘meritus’ — meaning ‘ought to be’. Despite that, Jim still teaches a course a semester, either at CSULB or El Camino Community College. He is the author of L.A. Math: Romance, Crime and Mathematics in the City of Angels, Cosmic Numbers: The Numbers That Define the Universe, The Paranormal Equation, How Math Can Save Your Life, The Right Decision, and How Math Can Save the World. He responds to any and all emails addressed to [email protected]