Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn't Learn in School

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Overview

How can we solve the national debt crisis? Should you or your child take on a student loan? Is it safe to talk on a cell phone while driving? Are there viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels? What could you do with a billion dollars? Could simple policy changes reduce political polarization? These questions may all seem very different, but they share two things in common. First, they are all questions with important implications for either personal success or our success as a nation. Second, they all concern ...

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Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn't Learn in School

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Overview

How can we solve the national debt crisis? Should you or your child take on a student loan? Is it safe to talk on a cell phone while driving? Are there viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels? What could you do with a billion dollars? Could simple policy changes reduce political polarization? These questions may all seem very different, but they share two things in common. First, they are all questions with important implications for either personal success or our success as a nation. Second, they all concern topics that we can fully understand only with the aid of clear quantitative or mathematical thinking. In other words, they are topics for which we need math for life—a kind of math that looks quite different from most of the math that we learn in school, but that is just as (and often more) important. In Math for Life, award-winning author Jeffrey Bennett simply and clearly explains the key ideas of quantitative reasoning and applies them to all the above questions and many more. He also uses these questions to analyze our current education system, identifying both shortfalls in the teaching of mathematics and solutions for our educational future. No matter what your own level of mathematical ability, and no matter whether you approach the book as an educator, student, or interested adult, you are sure to find something new and thought-provoking in Math for Life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An insightful look at the crucial role mathematics plays in understanding the complexities of today’s society. . . . The author’s pleasant, conversational style shows that such insight can be developed without obscure or high-level computation. . . . Any reader, but especially parents, politicians, and professional educators, would benefit from reading this book. Summing up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” —Choice Magazine

“Full marks to Jeffrey Bennett for delivering exactly what his title promises. This is not the math your teacher (probably) said you would need in adult life but never did; it’s the math you know you need—but likely don't have.” —Keith Devlin, PhD, author, The Math Gene, and the Math Guy on National Public Radio

“Should be required reading for every American. There’s no more powerful way to equip yourself for our increasingly complex and quantitative world than to read Math for Life.” —K. Shane Goodwin, professor of mathematics, Brigham Young University–Idaho

“Brilliantly illustrates the importance of numeracy in all aspects of life.” —David Taylor, assistant professor of mathematics, Roanoke College

Eric Gaze
Math for Life does an excellent job portraying the increasingly critical role of quantitative literacy in today’s rapidly changing global economy, and the new directions our math education system must face in order to produce quantitatively literate citizens. A perfect book for every high school student, college student, parent, and teacher. — Eric Gaze, Director of the Quantitative Reasoning Program, Bowdoin College
Brad Shonk
This book should be required reading for all math teachers and high school students. I loved everything about the book inculding the format, sequence, quotes, diagrams, charts, tables, and questions to begin each chapter. — Brad Shonk, Mississippi Teacher of the Year, 2011
Shane Goodwin
Should be required reading for every American. There’s no more powerful way to equip yourself for our increasingly complex and quantitative world than to read Math for Life. Every concept is presented in a clear and engaging way. — K. Shane Goodwin, Professor of Mathematics, Brigham Young University–Idaho
Keith Devlin
Full marks to Jeffrey Bennett for delivering exactly what his title promises. This is not the math your teacher (probably) said you would need in adult life but never did; it’s the math you know you need — but likely don’t have. It’s not a traditional textbook; it’s a how-to manual for clear thinking about the quantitative aspects of everyday life, bursting with intriguing, practical, real-life examples. I recommend it. —Keith Devlin, Stanford University
Bernard Madison
Sprinkled with illuminating examples, Math for Life presents issues critical to personal and national security—even survival—in clear and forthright terms. Underlying this important message is the obvious failure of U.S. mathematics education to meet the enormous quantitative reasoning demands of U.S. society. Jeffrey Bennett makes plain how current political and economic crises stem from this failure. — Bernard L. Madison, Professor of Mathematics, University of Arkansas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937548360
  • Publisher: Big Kid Science
  • Publication date: 11/1/2013
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 219,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist and educator who proposed the idea for and helped develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System—the first science-oriented exhibit approved for permanent installation on the National Mall in Washington, DC. He is the lead author of college textbooks in four subjects—astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics—and has written critically acclaimed books for the general public including Beyond UFOs and On the Cosmic Horizon. He is also the author of children’s books, including those in the Science Adventures with Max the Dog series and The Wizard Who Saved the World. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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