The modern study of probability began in seventeenth century France, when a French nobleman consulted the famous mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) for advice on gambling! The Chevalier de Méré liked two different games that were popular in European casinos at the time, and he wanted Pascal to find a way to improve his chances of winning. Pascal collaborated with another famous French mathematician, Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665), in a series of letters that established many of the probability rules we still use today. |