Uncertainty in an Uncertain World A Review of Ian Stewart’s Do Dice Play God?: The Mathematics of Uncertainty
In addition to the title’s cheeky play on the famous words God does not play dice with the universe (famously attributed to Einstein), Ian Stewart’s Do Dice Play God is a fascinating tour de force that embeds the discipline of statistics and probability within an informative and insightful socio-historical account of its development. Stewart characterizes the science of statistics and probability as the mathematical quantification of uncertainty—a very useful and productive way to think about a discipline with a reputation for being notoriously difficult and often counter-intuitive for people to understand. But his account goes beyond merely providing such an apt characterization of the discipline; he follows through by providing penetrating and clearly presented examples and analyses of the mathematics at play throughout the book’s 18 chapters. One cannot help but think that Stewart—a renowned mathematician and retired mathematics professor—is a gifted teacher! All of this is presented in an informal conversational style, infused with occasional humor, and usually in sufficient mathematical detail that invites and supports the reader to participate in the development of ideas under consideration.
"Uncertainty in an Uncertain World A Review of Ian Stewart’s Do Dice Play God?: The Mathematics of Uncertainty,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 20
, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol20/iss1/12
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
University of Montana, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library