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 basic resource fabric and interviews with statisticians and different scientists, "The idea that will no longer Die" is the riveting account of the way a possible basic theorem ignited one of many maximum medical controversies of all time. Bayes' rule seems to be an easy, one-line theorem: by way of updating our preliminary ideals with aim new info, we get a brand new and more desirable trust. To its adherents, it really is a chic assertion approximately studying from adventure. To its rivals, it really is subjectivity run amok. within the first-ever account of Bayes' rule for basic readers, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores this debatable theorem and the human obsessions surrounding it. She lines its discovery by means of an beginner mathematician within the 1740s via its improvement into approximately its glossy shape through French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace. She unearths why revered statisticians rendered it professionally taboo for one hundred fifty years - even as that practitioners trusted it to resolve crises concerning nice uncertainty and scanty info, even breaking Germany's Enigma code in the course of global struggle II, and explains how the arrival of off-the-shelf computing device expertise within the Nineteen Eighties proved to be a game-changer. this present day, Bayes' rule is used in all places from DNA interpreting to fatherland safety. "The conception that may now not Die" is a vibrant account of the generations-long dispute over one of many maximum breakthroughs within the heritage of utilized arithmetic and statistics.


"If you're now not pondering like a Bayesian, might be you might want to be."—John Allen Paulos, manhattan instances ebook Review
(John Allen Paulos long island instances e-book Review)

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

“Well recognized in statistical circles, Bayes’s Theorem used to be first given in a posthumous paper by way of the English clergyman Thomas Bayes within the mid-eighteenth century. McGrayne offers a desirable account of the fashionable use of this lead to concerns as varied as cryptography, insurance, the research of the relationship among smoking and melanoma, RAND, the identity of the writer of definite papers within the Federalist, election forecasting and the quest for a lacking H-bomb. the final reader will get pleasure from her effortless variety and how during which she has effectively illustrated using as a result leading significance in medical work.”— Andrew I. Dale, writer of A background of Inverse likelihood From Thomas Bayes to Karl Pearson and such a lot Honorable Remembrance: The lifestyles and paintings of Thomas Bayes

(Andrew I. Dale 2010-08-19)

“Compelling, fast moving studying packed with vigorous characters and anecdotes. . . .A nice story.” —Robert E. Kass, Carnegie Mellon University

(Robert E. Kass)

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

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

"To have crafted a page-turner out of the historical past of data is a powerful feat. If purely lectures at college have been this racy."—New Scientist
(New Scientist)

“The conception that may 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 ancient account...McGrayne describes actuarial, enterprise, and armed forces makes use of of the Bayesian process, 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 take pleasure in studying approximately many of the extra gossipy episodes and oversized personalities."—Choice

“McGrayne is this kind of strong author that she makes this imprecise 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 can be surprised on the influence that Bayes' rule has had in different fields, in addition to by means of its rejection through too many statisticians....I was once pointed out, statistically conversing, as what's referred to as a frequentist...But interpreting McGrayne's booklet has made me made up our minds to attempt, once more, to grasp the intricacies of Bayesian statisics. i'm convinced that different readers will think the same."—The Lancet
(The Lancet)

"Thorough learn of the subject material coupled with flowing prose, a powerful set of interviews with Bayesian statisticians, and an incredibly enticing 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 US Reviews
(Mathematical organization of the US Reviews)

"For the scholar who's being uncovered to Bayesian facts for the 1st time, McGrayne's booklet offers a wealth of illustrations to whet his or her urge for food for extra. it is going to expand and deepen the sphere 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 significant significance today."—Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the yank Mathematical Society
(Andrew I. Dale Notices of the yank Mathematical Society)

"A very enticing ebook that statisticians, probabilists, and background buffs within the mathematical sciences should still enjoy."—David Agard, CryptologIA
(David Agard CryptologIA)

"Delightful ... [and] McGrayne offers a good synopsis of the basic improvement of chance and facts by way of Laplace."—Scott L. Zeger of Johns Hopkins, Physics this present day
(Physics this present day Scott L. Zeger)

“Superb.”—Andrew Hacker, ny overview of Books
(Andrew Hacker long island assessment of Books)

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