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What Is Random?

Chance and Order in Mathematics and Life

Authors: Beltrami, Edward

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  • Uses approachable mathematical ideas to explore what exactly makes something random
  • Communicates the concept of chance in an accessible manner that encompasses a range of disciplines
  • Includes in the second edition new coverage of quantum uncertainty and cognitive illusions, alongside expanded technical notes
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eBook 21,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-0716-0799-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Softcover 25,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

We all know what randomness is. Or do we? Randomness turns out to be one of those concepts that works just fine on an everyday level, but becomes muddled upon close inspection. People familiar with quantum indeterminacy tell us that order is an illusion and that the world is fundamentally random. Yet these same people also say that randomness is an illusion: The appearance of randomness is only a sign of our ignorance and inability to detect the pattern.

By applying mathematical thinking, mathematician Edward Beltrami removes much of the vagueness that encumbers the concept of randomness. You will discover how to quantify what would otherwise remain elusive. As the book progresses, you will see how mathematics provides a framework for unifying how chance is interpreted across diverse disciplines. Communication engineering, computer science, philosophy, physics, and psychology join mathematics in the discourse to illuminate different facets of the same idea.

This book will provoke, entertain, and inform by challenging your ideas about randomness, providing different interpretations of what this concept means, and showing how order and randomness are really two sides of the same mysterious coin.

This second edition brings the question of randomness into the twenty-first century, adding compelling new topics such as quantum uncertainty, cognitive illusions caused by chance, Poisson processes, and Bayesian probability. An expanded technical notes section offers deeper explorations of a variety of mathematical concepts.

On the first edition:

I strongly recommend [What is Random?] to all who are interested in science and would like to see how the ideas of both theoretical mathematics and statistics have been observed and used in real life throughout history. The American Statistician


About the authors

Edward Beltrami is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. His research interests include probability theory, mathematical biology, mathematical modelling, and many more. He is the author of several books on the applications of mathematics.

Beltrami lives with his wife and several cats in suburban Long Island. He enjoys cooking, listening to music, and being a part-time wine critic.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)
  • The Taming of Chance

    Pages 1-29

    Beltrami, Edward

  • Uncertainty and Information

    Pages 31-55

    Beltrami, Edward

  • Janus-Faced Randomness

    Pages 57-78

    Beltrami, Edward

  • Algorithms, Information, and Chance

    Pages 79-96

    Beltrami, Edward

  • The Edge of Randomness

    Pages 97-119

    Beltrami, Edward

Buy this book

eBook 21,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-0716-0799-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Softcover 25,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
What Is Random?
Book Subtitle
Chance and Order in Mathematics and Life
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-1-0716-0799-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-0716-0799-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-0716-0798-5
Edition Number
2
Number of Pages
XVIII, 192
Number of Illustrations
31 b/w illustrations
Topics