In the early 17th century, mathematicians generally agreed that it was impossible to accurately and scientifically determine the likelihood of one event occurring rather than another. Everything from the result of a dice roll to the possibility of rain was consigned to the realm of pure, unknowable chance. In 1654, everything changed. Blaise Pascal wrote a letter to Pierre de Fermat describing a method to predict mathematical futures. Human life has never been the same. The Unfinished Game traces the history of Pascal's letter and the lives of the author and recipient while exploring the remarkable mathematical advances the men achieved. Keith Devlin explains how vital the concept of risk management is to modern life, how humanity was changed by Pascal's letter, and how radically it has caused humans to rethink the concept of the future. Keith Devlin, the "Math Guy" on NPR's Weekend Edition, is a Senior Researcher at Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information and its Executive Director. His books include: Mathematics: The Science of Patterns, The Math Gene, and The Math Instinct. He lives in Palo Alto, CA. (booksense)
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