The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs)

The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs)

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by Keith Devlin
     
 

"There are two kinds of math: the hard kind and the easy kind. The easy kind, practiced by ants, shrimp, Welsh corgis - and us - is innate." "What innate calculating skills do we humans have? Leaving aside built-in mathematics, such as the phenomenon of sight, most of us do just fine when faced with complex mathematical tasks in the course of the day. Yet when we are… See more details below

Overview

"There are two kinds of math: the hard kind and the easy kind. The easy kind, practiced by ants, shrimp, Welsh corgis - and us - is innate." "What innate calculating skills do we humans have? Leaving aside built-in mathematics, such as the phenomenon of sight, most of us do just fine when faced with complex mathematical tasks in the course of the day. Yet when we are confronted with the same tasks presented as "math," our accuracy often drops. But if we have innate mathematical ability, why do we have to teach math and why do most of us find it so hard to learn? Are there tricks or strategies that the ordinary person can do to improve mathematical ability? Can we improve our math skills by learning from dogs, cats, and other creatures that "do math"?" The answer to each of these questions is a qualified "yes." All these examples of animal math suggest that if we want to do better in the formal kind of math, we should see how it arises from natural mathematics. In The Math Instinct, NPR's "Math Guy" Dr. Keith Devlin takes us on a tour of the two kinds of math, and tells us how to get the most out of what we already have.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560256724
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
03/15/2005
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.06(d)

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