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ADAM KUCHARSKI is a researcher at Imperial College London and an award-winning science writer. Born in 1986, he studied at the University of Warwick before completing a PhD in mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He has published papers on topics ranging from evolutionary biology to the social structure of epidemics, and in 2013 was awarded a research fellowship by the UK Medical Research Council to investigate disease emergence in Southeast Asia. Winner of the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, he has contributed popular science articles to the Observer newspaper and BBC Focus and Plus magazines. He lives in London.

 

Featured titles

THE PERFECT BET

How Science is Taking the Luck Out of Gambling


An original and revealing guide to how science is taming chance and transforming gambling.

 

In the past few years, there has been a revolution in the gambling industry. From the statisticians forecasting sports scores to the intelligent algorithms beating human poker players, people are finding new ways to take on casinos and bookmakers. As methods and technologies improve, these individuals are using science to hunt for the perfect betting system.

 

In THE PERFECT BET, Adam Kucharski brings together ideas from mathematics, psychology, economics and physics to dissect successful betting methods. Who are these people turning hard science into hard cash? How are they managing to beat the house? Where did their approaches come from? And what do these wagers tell us about how we view luck?

 
Covering exploits and ideas from across the globe, he meets teams behind the betting equivalent of hedge funds, and explains how these PhD-level pundits are using methods originally developed for the US nuclear programme to predict sports results. He shows how the ideas of chaos theory developed by bouncing from universities to casinos and back again, and how they are still changing our notion of predictability today. He reveals why winning at chess depends on luck but – thanks to a discovery in 2007 – victory in checkers does not. And he explains what caused a US stockbroker to lose $400 million in the summer of 2012 and why poker is one of the ultimate challenges for artificial intelligence.

 
We are entering an era where chaos theory blends with psychology, game theory mixes with intelligent bots, and big data compete with traditional analysis. As THE PERFECT BET demonstrates, wagers are our window onto the world of luck and randomness. They show us how to balance risk against reward, and why we value things differently as our circumstances change. They help us unravel how we make decisions and what we can do to control fluke – or avoid it altogether.

 

Publisher: BasicBooks

Date: Autumn 2015

Length: 80,000 words

 

All rights available excluding:

World English Language (Basic), Japan (Soshisha), Korea (Business Books), Russia (Sindbad)

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