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Szpiro (a journalist who also writes a monthly column on mathematics for the Swiss daily newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung) takes the general reader on a tour of the mathematical puzzles and paradoxes inherent in voting systems, such as the Alabama Paradox, in which an increase in the number of seats in the Congress could actually lead to a reduced number of representatives for a state, and the Condorcet Paradox, which demonstrates that the winner of elections featuring more than two candidates does not necessarily reflect majority preferences. Szpiro takes a roughly chronological approach to the topic, travelling from ancient Greece to the present and, in addition to offering explanations of the various mathematical conundrums of elections and voting, also offers biographical details on the mathematicians and other thinkers who thought about them, including Plato, Pliny the Younger, Pierre Simon Laplace, Thomas Jefferson, John von Neumann, and Kenneth Arrow. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Options have been traded for hundreds of years, but investment decisions were based on gut feelings until the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Black-Scholes options pricing model in 1973 ushered in the era of the "quants. " Wall Street would never be the same. InPricing the Future, financial economist George G. Szpiro tells the fascinating stories of the pioneers of mathematical finance who conducted the search for the elusive options pricing formula. From the broker's assistant who published the first mathematical explanation of financial markets to Albert Einstein and other scientists who looked for a way to explain the movement of atoms and molecules,Pricing the Futureretraces the historical and intellectual developments that ultimately led to the widespread use of mathematical models to drive investment strategies on Wall Street.
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