## probability

In March 2011 a highly respected psychology journal published a paper claiming to provide evidence for extra-sensory perception (ESP). The claim was based largely on the results of a very common statistical procedure called significance testing. The experiments provide an excellent way into looking at how significance testing works and at what's problematic about it.

Probabilities and statistics: they are everywhere, but they are hard to understand and can be counter-intuitive. So what's the best way of communicating them to an audience that doesn't have the time, desire, or background to get stuck into the numbers? This article explores modern visualisation techniques and finds that the right picture really can be worth a thousand words.

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