Probability & Intuition

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About Simons Foundation Lectures

Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
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Probability theory was devised in order to understand gambling, but now is the underpinning of statistics, without which we would be clueless in our complex society.  Yet probability itself is a mysterious quantity, hard to define, and awkward for our human intuition to cope with.  Does it even exist, except in our minds?

Through stories and puzzles, we will attempt to get a slightly better grip on probability and to identify some of the ways in which our intuition tends to lead us astray.

Suggested Reading:

Grinstead and Snell’s Introduction to Probability

About the Speaker:

Peter Winkler is the William Morrill Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dartmouth College. His research interests lie in discrete mathematics and the theory of computing, probability theory, and applications.

Peter Winkler is author of more than 125 research papers and the holder of eight patents. Winkler studied Mathematics at Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in from Yale University. He has also published two books on mathematical puzzles.



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