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The theory that would not die : how Bayes' rule cracked the enigma code, hunted down Russian submarines, & emerged triumphant from two centuries of controversy /

by McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch [aut].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2011Description: xiii, 320 p. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780300169690 (hardback); 0300169698 (hardback).Subject(s): Bayes, Thomas 1701-1761 | mathematics -- history
Contents:
Enlightenment and the anti-Bayesian reaction. Causes in the air ; The man who did everything ; Many doubts, few defenders -- Second World War era. Bayes goes to war ; Dead and buried again -- The glorious revival. Arthur Bailey ; From tool to theology ; Jerome Cornfield, lung cancer, and heart attacks ; There's always a first time ; 46,656 varieties -- To prove its worth. Business decisions ; Who wrote The Federalist? The cold warrior ; Three Mile Island ; The Navy searches -- Victory. Eureka! ; Rosetta stones -- Appendixes. Dr. Fisher's casebook ; Applying Baye's Rule to mammograms and breast cancer.
Summary: "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"-- Provided by publisher.
List(s) this item appears in: Epistemologia, storia e filosofia della scienza
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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 (Alan Turing's role in 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.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-306) and index.

Enlightenment and the anti-Bayesian reaction. Causes in the air ; The man who did everything ; Many doubts, few defenders -- Second World War era. Bayes goes to war ; Dead and buried again -- The glorious revival. Arthur Bailey ; From tool to theology ; Jerome Cornfield, lung cancer, and heart attacks ; There's always a first time ; 46,656 varieties -- To prove its worth. Business decisions ; Who wrote The Federalist? The cold warrior ; Three Mile Island ; The Navy searches -- Victory. Eureka! ; Rosetta stones -- Appendixes. Dr. Fisher's casebook ; Applying Baye's Rule to mammograms and breast cancer.

"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"-- Provided by publisher.