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Best-selling author of 'Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities' to speak at the U of M April 25

April 12, 2012

Will you ever win the lottery? What are the chances that you would actually get struck by lightning? Is it safe to take that flight across the country? What are the odds that you could win big at the casino?

Find out more about the mathematics of probability at an upcoming lecture entitled “The Curious World of Probabilities” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, Willey Hall, Room 175, 225 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. The lecture is hosted by the University’s Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) within the College of Science and Engineering. The event is free and open to the public.

In this engaging and informative talk, Jeffrey Rosenthal, a professor of statistics at the University of Toronto and author of the best-selling book Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities, will offer a unique perspective on probabilities as he delves into an entertaining exploration of the nature of coincidence. He will explain how a “Probability Perspective” can shed new light on many familiar situations from lottery jackpots to airplane crashes, casino gambling to homicide rates, medical studies to election polls to surprising coincidences. He will also discuss Monte Carlo computer algorithms, which use randomness to solve problems in many branches of science.

For details about this and other public lectures offered by IMA, visit

About the IMA
Founded in 1982, the IMA promotes vigorous collaboration among mathematicians, engineers, biologists, chemists, physicists, and other applied scientists, attracting more than 1,200 visitors per year. Since its establishment, the IMA has grown to become among the most influential math institutes in the world. Its mission is to engage mathematicians and other scientists from around the globe in programs and activities that advance the nation’s science and technology agendas. Find out more at

Best-selling author Jeffrey Rosenthal will share his unique perspective on probabilities April 25

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