100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know: Math Explains Your World

100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know: Math Explains Your World

4.0 2
by John D. Barrow
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Where else does math become a romp, full of entertaining tricks and turns?”—Bryce Christensen, Booklist
Have you ever considered why you always get stuck in the longest line? Why two’s company but three’s a crowd? Or why there are six degrees of separation instead of seven? In this hugely informative and endlessly entertaining book,

Overview

“Where else does math become a romp, full of entertaining tricks and turns?”—Bryce Christensen, Booklist
Have you ever considered why you always get stuck in the longest line? Why two’s company but three’s a crowd? Or why there are six degrees of separation instead of seven? In this hugely informative and endlessly entertaining book, John D. Barrow takes the most baffling of everyday phenomena and—with simple math, lucid explanations, and illustrations—explains why they work the way they do. His witty, crystal-clear answers shed light on the dark and shadowy corners of the physical world we all think we understand so well.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/08/2014
Barrow (Mathletics), a Cambridge University professor of mathematical sciences and the director of the Millennium Mathematics Project, delves into the many ways mathematics informs art, and more broadly, our daily lives. In concise two- to three-page chapters, Barrow alerts readers to the beauty of mathematics and demonstrates how ubiquitous mathematical concepts are in the world of art. His examples define the arts expansively: the mathematical formula for determining how many guards an art museum needs, why the resonant frequencies in a shower stall make you sound better when singing, and figuring out how long to cook a turkey based on its size. Many of Barrow’s examples are within readers’ usual frame of reference—the shape of an egg, the formation of snowflakes—but others are more esoteric, such as the math behind Piet Mondrian’s rectangles. Barrow is well versed in mathematics and is fascinated by the topics, but he does not consistently provide accessible explanations. That said, even when he misses, Barrow successfully conveys the idea that mathematics provides a key to understanding both ordinary and extraordinary phenomena. (Feb.)
The Telegraph
I suspect the craft behind this fun book will only really come to light as we attempt to tell Barrow’s stories to our friends. Suddenly, we will realize how much effort Barrow has expended in explaining difficult things simply.— Simon Ings
Simon Ings - The Telegraph
“I suspect the craft behind this fun book will only really come to light as we attempt to tell Barrow’s stories to our friends. Suddenly, we will realize how much effort Barrow has expended in explaining difficult things simply.”
Sheldon Lee Glashow
“John Barrow’s wonderfully informative book should charm both lovers and haters of mathematics.”
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—This collection of bloglike entries is not, as the title would have readers believe, a series of just-so stories, although occasional essays explain such everyday phenomena as why the other line always seems to move faster. More often, though, they are constructed around implausible hypotheticals (what if a soccer league changed scoring rules retroactively?) or end before fully explaining real-world implications. As the selections accumulate, however, it becomes clear that Barrow is interested not in how "math explains your world," but something more subtle: how the world illuminates math. Each piece is an access point to a different aspect of math: probability, trigonometry, algebra, calculus, and much more, but this is not a dry collection of derivations and theorems. Barrow's enthusiastic willingness to use any excuse (however slim) to employ math quickly becomes infectious, and the brevity that at first seems to truncate topics instead serves his holistic view of math as a joyous investigation of the world. As probably the largest population using higher-level math on a regular basis, teens are uniquely positioned to understand and share Barrow's enthusiasms. For those who find something mysterious and intriguing in solving an equation, this collection is a fascinating look into the mind of a professional mathematician and the way in which math can be not simply a row of numbers but a way of looking at the world.—Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393338676
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/24/2010
Pages:
284
Sales rank:
1,098,493
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

John D. Barrow is professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the best-selling author of many books on science and mathematics, including Mathletics: 100 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know about the World of Sports and 100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know: Math Explains Your World.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know: Math Explains Your World 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
<3 love