The Theory that Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, & Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy (Google eBook)

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Yale University Press, 2011 - MATHEMATICS - 336 pages
26 Reviews
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 de-coding to Homeland Security.Drawing 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 controversies of all time.
  

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Review: 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

User Review  - Ben - Goodreads

It feels strange to hear Bayes' approach to statistics constantly referred to as a theorem, because as presented here it seems much more like a methodology. Essentially, a Bayesian approach is about ... Read full review

Review: 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

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

This was a book that I wanted to like more than I did. The history and rise of Bayesian statistics from humble origins is an interesting one and well captured by this book in places. There are many ... Read full review

Contents

Part II Second World War Era
59
Part III The Glorious Revival
89
Part IV To Prove Its Worth
137
Part V Victory
211
Appendixes
253
Notes
259
Glossary
271
Bibliography
275
Index
307
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne is the author of several critically-acclaimed books about scientific discoveries, including "Prometheans in the Lab", "Nobel Prize Women in Science", and "Blue Genes and Polyester Plants".

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