一本奇特的书：数学和性 (转载自小木虫)

Clio Cresswell博士从事过许多不同的职业，当前她是一名南威尔士大学（澳大利亚）的讲师，同时也是一名作家，不久前被提名并当选为第25周最美的人！她在法国南部长大后移民到澳大利亚并开始研究数学。她在得到博士学位后不久获得了大学奖金。

Clio也有相当广的媒体经验，从电视——包括座谈、美女和野兽、温室栏目，到电台——三M和国家电台。她也是会议客座发言人，基金发起人等等。这是她第一本书。

(Gary Cornell)写到“唔，多么令人感兴趣的题目啊！当我获得数学博士学位的时候，性和数学是风马牛不相及的，我怀疑这个题目是否弄错了：应该是数学和性的缺乏吧。但是，时代不同了，作者甚至还获得了流行杂志上第25周全澳最美的人的称号，她引用Hardy的话说，‘数学是研究学习的一种方式：发现、交流、影响并且应用’，那么这方式是否也可以包括性行为方式呢？

“你不得不选择生活伴侣，现在我们做个模型假设，你可以有100个选择，一个接一个，你能和他们（她们）约会，做爱，或者无论做什么（这个模型这点可真够疯狂的——kergee注）。但是最终你必须说是或不，一旦说不，你将永远见不到他们（她们）。”

Models that spring from modification of the rules of the Sultan problem have always been one of my favorites in this area. This makes Chapter 3 my favorite chapter: it is chock full of goodies with lots of interesting variations of the original problem, and thus even more interesting models. Some may be far more applicable. For example, if you get to play the cad and can keep potential mates 'stockpiled,' then, by stockpiling seven potential mates, there's a strategy that you can use to increase the odds of finding the best one to 96% or so! Or, in another variation of the model, whose solution she refers to as the "twelve bonk rule," there's a result that says that if you simply want to ensure that your choice is better than 90% of the other choices available, simply 'sample' the first 12 possibilities and pick the first person who is better after the first 12. This strategy gives you a 77% possibility of success.

“罗密欧越爱朱丽叶，朱丽叶越想逃跑……罗密欧失望了，打退堂鼓，朱丽叶发现他奇怪的吸引力，罗密欧回应她……”

This model gives rise to a standard and very simple first order differential equation. She then talks about more sophisticated versions of this model including one by Rinaldi that tries to model a famous love poem by Petrarch. (Personally, I think these models are only useful for learning differential equations but don't shed much light on the problem.)

To sum up, is this book perfect? No. I think more mathematically literate people would like appendices which give some indication of the deeper math behind what she discusses. For example, the math that shows why the answer I gave above to the Sultan's choice problem really is approximately 36.787944117144235 - or more correctly n/e, where e is the base of natural logarithms and n is the number of choices one has to go through, is well within the reach of any 2nd year calculus student. The differential equations she introduces in other chapters can be understood by anyone with a good engineering or math background. The game theory and even a proof of Arrow's theorem should be accessible to any literate person etc. As is, though, anyone with even some knowledge of or interest in mathematics will find this book great fun.

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