# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"You can't lose": Review of *Calculated Bets,* by Steven Skiena. Reviewedby Tony Jones. *New Scientist,*14 July 2001, pages 48-49.

In this "funny and utterly compelling book," Steven Skiena, a professor ofcomputing science at the State University of New York, tells the story of howhe and his students created a mathematical model for making successful bets onthe game jai a'lai. They implemented the model in a computer program and were"embarassingly successful" in placing bets. "Readers may be reassured to knowthat Skiena gave all his winnings to charity," the reviewer writes.

*--- Allyn Jackson*