The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy

The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne


Drawing on fundamental resource fabric and interviews with statisticians and different scientists, "The thought that will no longer Die" is the riveting account of ways a doubtless easy theorem ignited one of many maximum clinical controversies of all time. Bayes' rule seems to be a simple, one-line theorem: by way of updating our preliminary ideals with aim new details, we get a brand new and better trust. To its adherents, it's a sublime assertion approximately studying from event. To its competitors, it truly is subjectivity run amok. within the first-ever account of Bayes' rule for normal readers, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores this debatable theorem and the human obsessions surrounding it. She strains its discovery by way of an novice mathematician within the 1740s via its improvement into approximately its smooth shape through French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace. She unearths why revered statisticians rendered it professionally taboo for one hundred fifty years - while that practitioners trusted it to resolve crises regarding nice uncertainty and scanty details, even breaking Germany's Enigma code in the course of global battle II, and explains how the arrival of off-the-shelf laptop expertise within the Eighties proved to be a game-changer. at the present time, Bayes' rule is used in every single place from DNA interpreting to place of birth safety. "The idea that may no longer Die" is a shiny account of the generations-long dispute over one of many maximum breakthroughs within the historical past of utilized arithmetic and statistics.

Reviews:

"If you're no longer pondering like a Bayesian, maybe you'll want to be."—John Allen Paulos, long island occasions ebook Review
(John Allen Paulos manhattan occasions ebook Review)

"A masterfully researched story of human fight and accomplishment . . . . Renders confusing mathematical debates digestible and brilliant for even the main lay of audiences."—Michael Washburn, Boston Globe
(Michael Washburn Boston Globe)

“Well identified in statistical circles, Bayes’s Theorem used to be first given in a posthumous paper through the English clergyman Thomas Bayes within the mid-eighteenth century. McGrayne offers a desirable account of the trendy use of this bring about issues as different as cryptography, insurance, the research of the relationship among smoking and melanoma, RAND, the identity of the writer of convinced papers within the Federalist, election forecasting and the hunt for a lacking H-bomb. the overall reader will get pleasure from her effortless type and how during which she has effectively illustrated using as a result of the top value in clinical work.”— Andrew I. Dale, writer of A background of Inverse likelihood From Thomas Bayes to Karl Pearson and so much Honorable Remembrance: The lifestyles and paintings of Thomas Bayes

(Andrew I. Dale 2010-08-19)

“Compelling, fast paced analyzing filled with energetic characters and anecdotes. . . .A nice story.” —Robert E. Kass, Carnegie Mellon University

(Robert E. Kass)

"Makes the speculation come alive. . .enjoyable. . .densely packed and fascinating, . . .very available. . .an admirable task of giving a voice to the rankings of recognized and non-famous humans and knowledge who contributed, for solid or for worse."—Significance Magazine
(Significance Magazine)

"A very compelling documented account. . .very fascinating reading."—Jose Bernardo, Valencia checklist Blog
(Jose Bernardo Valencia record Blog)

"To have crafted a page-turner out of the heritage of facts is a magnificent feat. If in basic terms lectures at college were this racy."—New Scientist
(New Scientist)

“The thought that might now not Die is an impressively researched, rollicking story of the triumph of a strong mathematical tool.”—Andrew Robinson, Nature Vol. 475
(Andrew Robinson Nature Vol. 475 2011-07-28)

"A energetic, enticing old account...McGrayne describes actuarial, company, and army makes use of of the Bayesian strategy, together with its program to settle the disputed authorship of 12 of the Federalist Papers, and its use to attach cigarette smoking and lung cancer...All of this is often finished via compelling, fast-moving prose...The reader can't support yet get pleasure from studying approximately a few of the extra gossipy episodes and oversized personalities."—Choice
(Choice)

“McGrayne is this kind of strong author that she makes this vague conflict gripping for the overall reader.”—Engineering and expertise Magazine
(Engineering and know-how Magazine)

"McGrayne explains [it] beautifully...Top vacation reading."—The Australian
(The Australian)

"Engaging....Readers should be surprised on the impression that Bayes' rule has had in diversified fields, in addition to by means of its rejection by means of too many statisticians....I was once pointed out, statistically conversing, as what's referred to as a frequentist...But interpreting McGrayne's ebook has made me made up our minds to aim, once more, to grasp the intricacies of Bayesian statisics. i'm convinced that different readers will believe the same."—The Lancet
(The Lancet)

"Thorough examine of the subject material coupled with flowing prose, a magnificent set of interviews with Bayesian statisticians, and a really attractive kind in telling the non-public tales of the few nonconformist heroes of the Bayesian school."—Sam Behseta, Chance
(Sam Behseta Chance)

"A interesting and fascinating tale."—Mathematical organization of the United States Reviews
(Mathematical organization of the USA Reviews)

"For the coed who's being uncovered to Bayesian information for the 1st time, McGrayne's ebook offers a wealth of illustrations to whet his or her urge for food for extra. it is going to increase and deepen the sector of reference of the extra specialist statistician, and the final reader will locate an comprehensible, well-written, and engaging account of a systematic box of serious value today."—Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the yankee Mathematical Society
(Andrew I. Dale Notices of the yank Mathematical Society)

"A very enticing e-book that statisticians, probabilists, and heritage buffs within the mathematical sciences may still enjoy."—David Agard, CryptologIA
(David Agard CryptologIA)

"Delightful ... [and] McGrayne offers an outstanding synopsis of the elemental improvement of chance and records through Laplace."—Scott L. Zeger of Johns Hopkins, Physics at the present time
(Physics this day Scott L. Zeger)

“Superb.”—Andrew Hacker, big apple evaluation of Books
(Andrew Hacker ny assessment of Books)

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