Probability and the Real World
What aspects of the real world involve chance?
What does mathematical probability tell about about those aspects?
What concepts from mathematical probability can be illustrated by interesting contemporary real data?
This web site records my efforts to articulate some answers to such questions.
It is aimed at readers who have either read some "popular science" style account
of probability, or taken a college course involving probability.
So I won't explain very basic stuff, and I mostly avoid discussing material easily found elsewhere.
Similarly non-technical but more statistics-oriented articles can be found on
two other web sites: Understanding Uncertainty
and Chance News.
Let me emphasize that I am not promoting any grandiose theory.
The central content is
and you could now go there and browse those in any order.
Another way to get started is to read
A central theme is what I poetically call
which is my attempt at explaining the breadth of the subject -- what are all the contexts where we perceive chance?
Complementary to (and in places more mathematical than) these topics pages, there is material from my U.C. Berkeley course
which consisted of 20 lectures on different topics.
Here is a write-up of some
lectures from the 2014 course.
For instructors considering teaching some similar course, there is extensive material
at the course web site,
lecture slides from the (final) course in 2017.
Amongst this material is
And as a postscript, some rather argumentative reflections on the relationship
between mathematical probability and the real world.