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Mathematical Fiction (Part 3)

Again, in line with the theme and my two previous reviews, Colin Bruce's Conned Again, Watson: Cautionary Tales of Logic, Math, and Probability (Persus Publications, 2001) is mathematical fiction aimed at using logic to explore ideas of probability, statistics, and game theory.

A cumulative goal of this collection of stories is to illustrate how our reliance on common sense--without any intrusion of mathematical thinking--will lead to poor decisions and get us in trouble. Then, it is Sherlock Holmes to our rescue, fortified by his grand use of probability, statistics, game theory, and logic. The crimes are solved...the innocent are protected...the reader is educated.

Twelve cases (one for each month of the year) are included, each self-contained. If you enjoy these, you might also want to read Colin Bruce's The Einstein Paradox, And Other Mysteries Solved by Sherlock Holmes. It focuses on illuminating ideas from physics...a task comparable to illuminating probabilistic notions.