The first treatment of the early development of probability and statistics since Todhunter's History appeared in 1865. The present book describes the contemporaneous development and interaction of probability theory (and games of chance), statistics (particularly in astronomy and demography) and life insurance mathematics. Illustrates the development of the practice by means of typical examples, giving both the original data and their analysis at the time, and adding some comments from a modern point of view. To read and enjoy this intellectual history, the reader need know but little statistics or mathematics, for the presentation is relatively self-contained. This unique book evokes the life and works of the great natural philosophers who contributed to the development of probability theory and statistics and offers fascinating background material on the history of mathematics, natural philosophy and social conditions of the eras under discussion.
About the Author
Anders Hald was formerly a Professor of Statistics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Table of ContentsThe Book and Its Relation to Other Works.
A Sketch of the Background in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
Early Concepts of Probability and Chance.
Cardano and Liber de Ludo Aleae, c.
The Foundation of Probability Theory by Pascal and Fermat in 1654.
Huygens and De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae, 1657.
John Graunt and the Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality, 1662.
The Probabilistic Interpretation of Graunt's Life Table.
The Early History of Life Insurance Mathematics.
Mathematical Models and Statistical Methods in Astronomy.
The Newtonian Revolution in Mathematics and Science.
Miscellaneous Contributions Between 1657 and 1708.
The Great Leap Forward, 1708 - 1718: A Survey.
New Solutions to Old Problems, 1708 - 1718.
James Bernoulli and Ars Conjectandi, 1713.
Tests of Significance Based on the Sex Ratio at Birth and the Binomial Distribution, 1712 - 1713.
Montmort and the Essay d'Analyse sur les Jeux de Hazard, 1708 and 1713.
The Problem of Coincidences and the Compound Probability Theorem.
De Moivre and the Doctrine of Chances, 1718, 1738, and 1756.
The Problems of the Duration of Play and the Method of Difference Equations.