David Hand is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College in London, where he was Professor of Statistics. He served two terms of office as President of the Royal Statistical Society, and is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to Winton Capital Management. As a statistician, he is an enthusiast for data, and how to extract information and understanding from it, and for how probability and chance affect our lives. He’s written 29 books, including The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day.
The Improbability Principle explores the curious and apparently contradictory fact that events which are extremely unlikely seem to occur terribly often. We know that the chance of winning a lottery is astronomically small, and yet someone seems to win almost every week. Worse, there are people who have won lotteries twice, and even three times. We hear stories of people who lose a ring, only to rediscover it twenty years later. Many of us have had the experience of thinking of someone just before the phone rang, and it turns out be them, or of visiting a strange town and unexpectedly bumping into a neighbour or old friend.
In his book, Hand describe why these sorts of things should in fact be expected. They are the result of five laws – scientific and mathematical laws of nature, not magical laws. Put together, these laws essentially say that extremely improbable events are commonplace, and show why this is the case.
To learn more about David Hand, go to www.improbability-principle.com
To get your copy of The Improbability Principle, please click here.