Adam Kucharski is the author of The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling.
From his Q & A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You write, “Perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising that science and gambling are so intertwined.” What are some of the major ways in which they are linked?Visit Adam Kucharski's website.
A: Throughout history, people have used bets to explore ideas about chance and decision making. The fundamental concepts of probability started with gamblers trying to understand what consisted a "fair" dice wager.
Roulette inspired many of the ideas behind chaos theory - which examines the limits of predictability - and statistical testing, which enables us to measure whether an event is likely to be a coincidence or not.
And that's not all. Poker motivated mathematicians to develop game theory, which analyses how we make decisions, while the so-called St Petersburg Lottery led to the economic theory of utility, enabling companies to measure...[read on]