The Monty Hall Problem:
The Remarkable Story of Math’s Most Contentious Brain Teaser
By Jason Rosenhouse
QA95 .R67 2009
New Book Island, 2nd floor
“What’s behind door number one?” The famous question of Let’s Make a Deal‘s Monty Hall has spawned much discussion on strategy, bringing in mathematics, probability, psychology and philosophy into the arena (and made the front page of the New York Times). After you’ve selected the door of your choice and Monty reveals what’s behind the one of the other doors, do you stay with your first choice or do you switch to the other doors? That, my friend, is the Monty Hall Problem.
Rosenhouse, math professor at James Madison University, set out to compile his notes about the problem spawned from the game show and present them in book format. However, he ran into some difficulty when he started researching because the problem attracted the attention of more than just mathematicians. The author therefore has incorporated the aspects of psychology and philosophy that have been studied in relation to the conundrum presented by the prizes behind the doors. Rosenhouse does explain in his preface that while chapters three and four are pretty math-heavy, the rest of the book is relatively easy-to-understand.