Mathematics in Games, Sports, and Gambling : The Games People Play, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

Mathematics in Games, Sports, and Gambling
The Games People Play, Second Edition

ISBN 9781138427525
Published July 27, 2017 by Chapman and Hall/CRC

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USD $220.00

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Book Description

Mathematics in Games, Sports, and Gambling: The Games People Play, Second Edition demonstrates how discrete probability, statistics, and elementary discrete mathematics are used in games, sports, and gambling situations. With emphasis on mathematical thinking and problem solving, the text draws on numerous examples, questions, and problems to explain the application of mathematical theory to various real-life games.

This updated edition of a widely adopted textbook considers a number of popular games and diversions that are mathematically based or can be studied from a mathematical perspective. Requiring only high school algebra, the book is suitable for use as a textbook in seminars, general education courses, or as a supplement in introductory probability courses.

New in this Edition:

  • Many new exercises, including basic skills exercises
  • More answers in the back of the book
  • Expanded summary exercises, including writing exercises
  • More detailed examples, especially in the early chapters
  • An expansion of the discrete adjustment technique for binomial approximation problems
  • New sections on chessboard puzzles that encourage students to develop graph theory ideas
  • New review material on relations and functions

Exercises are included in each section to help students understand the various concepts. The text covers permutations in the two-deck matching game so derangements can be counted. It introduces graphs to find matches when looking at extensions of the five-card trick and studies lexicographic orderings and ideas of encoding for card tricks.

The text also explores linear and weighted equations in the section on the NFL passer rating formula and presents graphing to show how data can be compared or displayed. For each topic, the author includes exercises based on real games and actual sports data.

Table of Contents

Basic Probability
Of Dice and Men
The Laws That Govern Us
Poker Hands versus Batting Orders
Let’s Play for Money!
Is That Fair?
The Odds Are against Us
Things Vary
Conditional Expectation

The Game’s Afoot
Applications to Games
Counting and Probability in Poker Hands
Let’s Make a Deal — The Monty Hall Problem
Carnival Games
Other Casino Games

Repeated Play
Binomial Coefficients
The Binomial Distribution
The Poisson Distribution
Streaks—Are They Real?
Betting Strategies
The Gambler’s Ruin

Card Tricks and More
The Five-Card Trick
The Two-Deck Matching Game
More Tricks
The Paintball Wars

Dealing with Data
Batting Averages and Simpson’s Paradox
NFL Passer Ratings
Viewing Data — Simple Graphs
Confidence in Our Estimates
Measuring Differences in Performance

Testing and Relationships
Suzuki versus Pujols
I’ll Decide If I Believe That
Are the Old Adages True?
How Good Are Certain Measurements?
Arguing over Outstanding Performances
A Last Look at Comparisons

Games and Puzzles
Number Arrays
The Tower of Hanoi
Instant Insanity
Lights Out
Peg Games
Puzzles on the Chessboard
Guarini’s Problem
Martin Gardner’s No 3-in-a-Line Problem
The Knight’s Tour
Domination and Independence
Attacking Placements and Independence

Combinatorial Games
Introduction to Combinatorial Games
Subtraction Games
Games as Digraphs
Blue-Red Hackenbush
Green Hackenbush
Games as Numbers
More about Nimbers

Review of Elementary Set Theory
Relations and Functions
Standard Normal Distribution Table
Student’s t-Distribution
Solutions to Problems
Solutions to Selected Exercises


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Ronald J. Gould received a B.S. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1972, an M.S. in Computer Science in 1978 from Western Michigan University, and Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1979 from Western Michigan University. He joined the faculty of Emory University in 1979.

Professor Gould specializes in Graph Theory with general interests in discrete mathematics and algorithms. He has written over 170 research papers and one book in this area. Professor Gould serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals in the area of discrete mathematics. Over the years he has directed over 25 master’s theses and more than 25 Ph.D. dissertations.

Professor Gould has received a number of honors including teaching awards from Western Michigan University (1976) and Emory University (1999), as well as the Mathematical Association of America’s Southeastern Section Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. He has also received alumni awards from both SUNY Fredonia and Western Michigan University. He was awarded the Goodrich C. White Chair from Emory University in 2001.