Math in the Media

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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"A Professor Bets on Jai Alai---With Computer Models," by Brock Read. Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 February 2002.

This article discusses the efforts of Steven Skiena, a computer science professor at SUNY Stony Brook, to formulate a mathematical model for betting on the game jai alai. His book, Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling, and Mathematical Modeling to Win, describes his modeling techniques as well as the mathematics behind the sport and larger questions about computer programming and data analysis. The jai alai bets he made with the aid of his model actually turned a profit, which he donated to a university charity. The jai alai modeling is just a sideline for Skiena, whose "honest research" is in computational biology.

--- Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society