probability

As the Wimbledon 2011 Championships hove into view, memories will be reawakened of the match of epic proportions that took place last year between the American John Isner and the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. So just how freaky was their titanic fifth set and what odds might a bookmaker offer for a repeat?

Insurance companies offer protection against rare but catastrophic events like hurricanes or earthquakes. But how do they work out the financial risks associated to these disasters? Shane Latchman investigates.

In this article we present a set of unusual dice and a two-player game in which you will always have the advantage. You can even teach your opponent how the game works, yet still win again! We'll also look at a new game for three players in which you can potentially beat both opponents — at the same time!

England's performance in the World Cup last summer was thankfully overshadowed by the attention given to Paul the octopus, who was reported as making an unbroken series of correct predictions of match winners. David Spiegelhalter looks at Paul's performance in an attempt to answer the question that (briefly) gripped the world: was Paul psychic?

When you flip a coin we assume it has equal chance of coming up head or tails, so any coin flipping game should be a fair one. But Yutaka Nishiyama and Steve Humble can give you the winning advantage.
Tim Johnson was drawn into financial maths, not through an interest in finance, but because he was interested in making good decisions in the face of uncertainty. Tim explores the development of this interface between abstract mathematics and our everyday lives, and explains why a painting may only be worth its wall space.
The maths behind a curious ITV game show

This may seem like an odd question — after all, he’s won — but it opens up some deep philosophical issues surrounding probability. David Spiegelhalter investigates how probability can be defined.

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