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Cardano, the Physician and Mathematician, in His Role as a Gambler in the 16th Century
Cardano’s genius in mathematics, particularly his contributions to the field of algebra, is now recognised. Cardano was, all his life, a fan of gambling, and was even assumed to be addicted to it. Since the middle of the 20th century, with the detailed study of his works, namely of the analysis of Liber de Ludo Aleae (The Book on Games of Chance), there has been a growing acceptance that the probabilistic developments found in his work let us view Cardano as the first mathematician studying probability. Among descriptions, comments and reasoning about chess, dice, backgammon or cards, it is possible to identify the birth of the Theory of Probability.
Carla Cardoso is a high school mathematics teacher in Portugal, since 2000. Carla Cardoso is currently a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Sciences at the University of Lisbon, focusing on the development of probability theory and its relationship with games of chance.