Jakob Bernoulli, head of a dynasty of brilliant scholars, was one of the world’s leading mathematicians. Bernoulli’s great work, *Ars Conjectandi*, published in 1713, included a profound result that he established “after having meditated on it for twenty years”. He called it his “golden theorem”. It is known today as the law of large numbers, and it was the first limit theorem in probability, and the first attempt to apply probability outside the realm of games of chance [TM225 or search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com].

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