How Math Can Save Your Life: (And Make You Rich, Help You Find The One, and Avert Catastrophes)

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Overview

How to make lots of money, keep yourself safe, and even save the world-all by using a little simple math

Forget the dull, boring math you learned in school. This book shows you the powerful things math can do for you, with applications no teacher ever taught you in algebra class. How can you make money off credit card companies? Will driving a hybrid save you money in the long run? How do you know when he or she is "the one"?

From financial ...

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How Math Can Save Your Life: (And Make You Rich, Help You Find The One, and Avert Catastrophes)

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Overview

How to make lots of money, keep yourself safe, and even save the world-all by using a little simple math

Forget the dull, boring math you learned in school. This book shows you the powerful things math can do for you, with applications no teacher ever taught you in algebra class. How can you make money off credit card companies? Will driving a hybrid save you money in the long run? How do you know when he or she is "the one"?

From financial decisions to your education, job, health, and love life, you'll learn how the math you already know can help you get a lot more out of life.

  • Gives you fun, practical advice for using math to improve virtually every area of daily life
  • Includes straightforward explanations and easy-to-follow examples
  • Written by the author of the successful guide, How Math Explains the World

Filled with practical, indispensable guidance you can put to work every day, this book will safeguard your wallet and enrich every aspect of your life. You can count on it!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* Taking his lead from Freakonomics, mathematics professor Stein examines everyday, occasional, and inevitable life problems—what's the financial benefit of a college degree over a lifetime? Is gambling more cost-efficient entertainment than a first-run movie? How much money does a hybrid car actually save?—through the lens of arithmetic, with enlightening, and sometimes surprising, results. Addressing topics like genetics, statistics, and economics with practical knowledge sure to heighten math literacy—and the appreciation for it—Stein illustrates concepts like game theory by analyzing the benefit-to-risk ratio of his father's surgery, buying flowers for a significant other, and football plays. Stein offers numerous suggestions for improving mathematics education and for making mental math easier, as well as for handling more immediate concerns like refinancing the house (will it actually save you money?), studying for tests (how effective is guessing on a multiple-choice quiz?) and finding love (“The original title for this book, suggested by my editor, was How Math Can Get You Laid”). With a sure grasp of the material and a game sense of humor, Stein's text should interest a broad audience of intellectually curious readers, including any fan of practical cultural analysis ala Malcolm Gladwell. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly.com, February 8, 2010)
Publishers Weekly
Taking his lead from Freakonomics, mathematics professor Stein examines everyday, occasional, and inevitable life problems-what's the financial benefit of a college degree over a lifetime? Is gambling more cost-efficient entertainment than a first-run movie? How much money does a hybrid car actually save?-through the lens of arithmetic, with enlightening, and sometimes surprising, results. Addressing topics like genetics, statistics, and economics with practical knowledge sure to heighten math literacy-and the appreciation for it-Stein illustrates concepts like game theory by analyzing the benefit-to-risk ratio of his father's surgery, buying flowers for a significant other, and football plays. Stein offers numerous suggestions for improving mathematics education and for making mental math easier, as well as for handling more immediate concerns like refinancing the house (will it actually save you money?), studying for tests (how effective is guessing on a multiple-choice quiz?) and finding love ("The original title for this book, suggested by my editor, was How Math Can Get You Laid"). With a sure grasp of the material and a game sense of humor, Stein's text should interest a broad audience of intellectually curious readers, including any fan of practical cultural analysis ala Malcolm Gladwell.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470437759
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 814,414
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James D. Stein is the author of How Math Explains the World: A Guide to the Power of Numbers, From Car Repair to Modern Physics and is a professor of mathematics at California State University, Long Beach. A graduate of Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley, he has taught college math for more than forty years.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction: What Math Can Do for You 1

1 The Most Valuable Chapter You Will Ever Read 5

Are service contracts for electronics and appliances just a scam?

How likely are you to win at roulette?

Is it worth going to college?

2 How Math Can Help You Understand Sports Strategy 21

Why could Bart Simpson probably beat you at rock, paper, scissors?

What are “pure” and “mixed” strategies?

Is a pass play or a run play more likely to make a first down?

3 How Math Can Help Your Love Life 37

How do you know when he or she is “the one”?

Whom should you ask to the senior prom?

Why are women reputed to be fickle while men are steadfast?

4 How Math Can Help You Beat the Bookies 47

Why should your lottery ticket contain numbers greater than 31?

Can you overcome a negative expectation?

When should you bluff and when should you fold?

5 How Math Can Improve Your Grades 65

Will guessing on a multiple-choice test get you a better score?

What test subject should you spend the most time studying for?

What subject should you major in?

6 How Math Can Extend Your Life Expectancy 77

How dangerous is it to speed?

Why might your prescription show the wrong dosage?

Should you have a risky surgery or not?

7 How Math Can Help You Win Arguments 89

Was the bailout the only way to save the banks?

Do you really have logic on your side?

What are the first arithmetic tables learned by children on Spock's home planet?

8 How Math Can Make You Rich 107

How can you actually make money off credit card companies?

Will refinancing your house actually save money?

Is a hybrid car a better value?

9 How Math Can Help You Crunch the Numbers 125

How did statistics help prevent cholera in nineteenth-century London?

Why won't Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf's son be a tennis prodigy?

Are you more likely to meet someone over 7 feet tall or someone more than 100 years old?

10 How Math Can Fix the Economy 147

What is the “Tulip Index”?

What doesn't the mortgage banking industry understand about negative numbers?

What caused the stock market crash of 1929?

11 Arithmetic for the Next Generation 165

How can you get your kids interested in math?

What is the purpose of arithmetic?

How does Monopoly money make learning division easier?

12 How Math Can Help Avert Disasters 191

What caused the Challenger space shuttle crash?

How could we have prevented much of the damage from Hurricane Katrina?

How can you determine the possible cost of a disaster?

13 How Math Can Improve Society 205

How much is a human life worth in dollars?

When should legal cases be settled out of court?

At what point does military spending become unnecessary?

14 How Math Can Save the World 215

Do extraterrestrial aliens exist?

How can we prevent nuclear war and a major asteroid impact?

When is the world going to end?

Notes 229

Index 235

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2010

    USEful Math Book for ALL!

    FINALLY a MATH book that is USEful for EVERYONE! Yes, Jim has done it with this one. You will get back every penny just from reading the first few chapters.and, you won't have to solve a single word problem either. This is a no-nonsense, practical, arithmetic approach to the WHY you need to have learned math in school (I know, you can't imagine what could possibly be good about this, right?). Simple, yet, intuitive and REASONABLE explanations for things that each and every single one of us has ever encountered in our lives.from being tempted by a sales person to purchase an extended service contract to whether or not a QB should throw a pass (what?! football references?). Trust me on this one, this is a book that you won't feel is a math book. Teachers should read it, too! Most definitely! A++++++

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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