• 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 See large image

    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 (Hardback) By (author) Sharon Bertsch McGrayne

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    DescriptionDrawing on primary source material and interviews with statisticians and other scientists, "The Theory That Would Not Die" is the riveting account of how a seemingly simple theorem ignited one of the greatest scientific controversies of all time. Bayes' rule appears to be a straightforward, one-line theorem: by updating our initial beliefs with objective new information, we get a new and improved belief. To its adherents, it is an elegant statement about learning from experience. To its opponents, it is subjectivity run amok. In the first-ever account of Bayes' rule for general readers, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores this controversial theorem and the human obsessions surrounding it. She traces its discovery by an amateur mathematician in the 1740s through its development into roughly its modern form by French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace. She reveals why respected statisticians rendered it professionally taboo for 150 years - at the same time that practitioners relied on it to solve crises involving great uncertainty and scanty information, even breaking Germany's Enigma code during World War II, and explains how the advent of off-the-shelf computer technology in the 1980s proved to be a game-changer. Today, Bayes' rule is used everywhere from DNA decoding to Homeland Security. "The Theory That Would Not Die" is a vivid account of the generations-long dispute over one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of applied mathematics and statistics.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Theory That Would Not Die

    Title
    The Theory That Would Not Die
    Subtitle
    How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 288
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 635 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780300169690
    ISBN 10: 0300169698
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: MAT
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S7.8
    B&T Book Type: NF
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: PBX
    B&T General Subject: 710
    BISAC V2.8: SCI034000
    Ingram Subject Code: MA
    Libri: I-MA
    B&T Approval Code: A51050000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 16280
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: MAT015000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 519.542
    BISAC V2.8: MAT029010
    DC22: 519.5/42
    B&T Approval Code: A51183600
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: QA279.5 .M415 2011
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC23: 519.542
    BIC subject category V2: PBTB
    Thema V1.0: PBX, PDX, PBTB
    Publisher
    Yale University Press
    Imprint name
    Yale University Press
    Publication date
    17 May 2011
    Publication City/Country
    New Haven
    Author Information
    Sharon Bertsch McGrayne is the author of numerous books, including Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries and Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World. She is a prize-winning former reporter for Scripps-Howard, Gannett, Crain's, and other newspapers and has spoken at many scientific conferences, national laboratories, and universities in the United States and abroad.
    Review quote
    "Superb.#160;"New York Review of Books" --Andrew Hacker "New York Review of Books "