Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 44%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $14.99   
  • New (9) from $17.98   
  • Used (5) from $14.99   

Overview

In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works—don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor,teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge—from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool—the general principle—from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics,management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems.Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

David Mackay

"Every student or teacher of mathematics and science, whatever their level, will find a wealth of fun and practical tools in this fantastic book."--David MacKay, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cavendish Laboratory,
University of Cambridge, Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change

From the Publisher
"Many everyday problems require quick, approximate answers.

Street-Fighting Mathematics teaches a crucial skill that the traditional science curriculum fails to develop: how to obtain order of magnitude estimates for a broad variety of problems. This book will be invaluable to anyone wishing to become a better informed professional."—Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University

"All students and teachers of mathematics and science, whatever their level, will find a wealth of fun and practical tools in this fantastic book." David MacKay, Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Chief Scientific Advisor,UK Department of Energy and Climate Change

"Street-Fighting Mathematics taught me things I wish I'd learned years ago. It's fun, fast, and smart. Master it and you'll be dangerous." Steven Strogatz, Cornell University, author of The Calculus of Friendship

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262514293
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Pages: 134
  • Sales rank: 953,462
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sanjoy Mahajan is Associate Professor of Applied Science and Engineering at Olin College of Engineering and Visiting Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College in the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the physics faculty. He is the author of Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving (MIT Press).

Carver A. Mead is the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology. He won the 1999 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)