“Probably a Good Book” is a terrific self-contained companion for the motivated youngster or life-long learner. It features anti-authoritarian math. That is, math without training, only thinking. The concepts of probability are explained clearly, concisely and without mathematical jargon. The book contains a deep-dive into numerous problems involving probability — each of which contains a complete solution.
Unlike other books on probability, “Probably A Good Book” focuses on the development of the readers’ general problem-solving skills rather than the ability to plug numbers into formulas to get answers. Each of the five main problems are thoroughly explored with a variety of problem solving techniques. The first problem involves the calculation of the possible distribution of the four aces among four 13-card hands as would be dealt in a bridge game. The five possibilities are 4-0-0-0 (all the aces in one hand), 3-1-0-0, 2-2-0-0, 2-1-1-0 and 1-1-1-1 (one ace in each hand). Which one do you think is most likely? Least likely? Can you rank them according to the probability that they occur?
If you are interested in becoming a better thinker and a more creative problem solver, this book will provide a good opportunity.
The authors are Kaylee Yuhas and Sam Schwab, both of whom are currently in graduate school and Dr. Edwin F Meyer, chair of physics at Baldwin Wallace University.