Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Losing to Win," by Ivars Peterson. Science News, 15 January 2000,page 47.

This brief piece describes a counterintuitive new result in game theory. Itturns out that two games of chance that give a player mostly losses over thelong term can, when played repeatedly with random switches between the twogames, produce a winning outcome. Researchers in Australia demonstrated thiseffect using a combination of two losing gambling games.

--- Allyn Jackson