Tour Through Probability’s Mysteries Promised During Free Public Lecture

University of Toronto mathematician and statistician Jeffrey Rosenthal will take us on a tour through the mysteries of probability Monday, July 30, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, during a free public lecture titled “Born on Friday the Thirteenth: The Curious World of Probabilities.” The talk is being held in conjunction with the 2018 Joint Statistical Meetings; however, registration for the conference is not required to attend.

In this talk, Jeffrey Rosenthal will use randomness and probability to answer such questions as the following:

  • Just how unlikely is it to win a lottery jackpot?
  • If you flip 100 coins, how close will the number of heads be to 50?
  • How many dying patients must be saved to demonstrate the effectiveness of a new medical drug?
  • Why do strange coincidences occur so often?
  • How accurate are opinion polls?
  • How did statistics help expose the Ontario Lottery Retailer Scandal?
  • Should parents be convicted of murder if two of their babies die without apparent cause?
  • Can statistics explain luck and superstition?
  • Why do casinos always make money, even though gamblers sometimes win and sometimes lose?

Jeffrey Rosenthal

The Facts

When: Monday, July 30, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre, West Ballroom A
Who: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, professor of statistics at the University of Toronto
Why: Because it’s going to be great!

And how is all this related to Monte Carlo algorithms, an extremely popular and effective method for scientific computing?

No mathematical background is required to attend.

Rosenthal is a professor of statistics at the University of Toronto. He earned his BSc from the University of Toronto at the age of 20, his PhD in mathematics from Harvard University at the age of 24, and tenure at the University of Toronto at the age of 29.

He received the 2006 CRM-SSC Prize, the 2007 COPSS Presidents’ Award, the 2013 SSC Gold Medal, and teaching awards at both Harvard and Toronto. He is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Royal Society of Canada.

Rosenthal’s book for the general public, Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities, was published in 16 editions and 10 languages. It was a bestseller in Canada, which led to numerous media and public appearances and his work exposing the Ontario lottery retailer scandal.

Despite being born on Friday the Thirteenth, Rosenthal has been a very fortunate person. Find out more about him by visiting his website.