X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life

X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life

by John A. Adam
     
 

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X and the City, a book of diverse and accessible math-based topics, uses basic modeling to explore a wide range of entertaining questions about urban life. How do you estimate the number of dental or doctor's offices, gas stations, restaurants, or movie theaters in a city of a given size? How can mathematics be used to maximize traffic flow

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Overview

X and the City, a book of diverse and accessible math-based topics, uses basic modeling to explore a wide range of entertaining questions about urban life. How do you estimate the number of dental or doctor's offices, gas stations, restaurants, or movie theaters in a city of a given size? How can mathematics be used to maximize traffic flow through tunnels? Can you predict whether a traffic light will stay green long enough for you to cross the intersection? And what is the likelihood that your city will be hit by an asteroid?

Every math problem and equation in this book tells a story and examples are explained throughout in an informal and witty style. The level of mathematics ranges from precalculus through calculus to some differential equations, and any reader with knowledge of elementary calculus will be able to follow the materials with ease. There are also some more challenging problems sprinkled in for the more advanced reader.

Filled with interesting and unusual observations about how cities work, X and the City shows how mathematics undergirds and plays an important part in the metropolitan landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
For mathematics professionals, especially those engaged in teaching, this book does contain some novel examples that illustrate topics such as probability and analysis.
Mathematical Reviews Clippings - Sandra L. Arlinghaus
Read this book and come away with a fresh view of how cities work. Enjoy it for the connections between mathematics and the real world. Share it with your friends, family, and maybe even a municipal planning commissioner or two!
From the Publisher

"[Adam's] writing is fun and accessible. . . . College or even advanced high school mathematics instructors will find plenty of great examples here to supplement the standard calculus problem sets."--Library Journal

"For mathematics professionals, especially those engaged in teaching, this book does contain some novel examples that illustrate topics such as probability and analysis."--Choice

"Read this book and come away with a fresh view of how cities work. Enjoy it for the connections between mathematics and the real world. Share it with your friends, family, and maybe even a municipal planning commissioner or two!"--Sandra L. Arlinghaus, Mathematical Reviews Clippings

"It goes without saying that the exposition is very friendly and lucid: this makes the vast majority of material accessible to a general audience interested in mathematical modeling and real life applications. This excellent book may well complement standard texts on engineering mathematics, mathematical modeling, applied mathematics, differential equations; it is a delightful and entertaining reading itself. Thank you, Vickie Kearn, the editor of A Mathematical Nature Walk, for suggesting the idea of this book to Professor Adam--your idea has been delightfully implemented!"--Svitlana P. Rogovchenko, Zentralblatt MATH

"[Y]ou'll find this book quite extensive in how many different areas you can apply mathematics in the city and just how revealing even a simple model can be. . . . A Mathematical Nature Walk opened my eyes to nature and now Adam has done the same for cities."--David S. Mazel, MAA Reviews

"The author has an entertaining style, interweaving clever stories with the process of mathematical modeling. This book is not designed as a textbook, although it could certainly be used as an interesting source of real-world problems and examples for advanced high school mathematics courses."--Theresa Jorgensen, Mathematics Teacher

Library Journal
Adam (mathematics, Old Dominion Univ.; Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin) intends to complement his previous titles on the mathematics of natural systems with a new book about mathematical models of human-made systems. In 25 brief chapters, he introduces readers to exercises related to traffic flow, population growth, changing demographics, and probability. His writing is fun and accessible, but, aside from the short introductions to each section, it focuses on discovering and unpacking mathematical problems in everyday situations. The book assumes a familiarity with basic calculus and is designed to help students practice application-based problem-solving skills. Well known to engineers, economists, and others in the field, the ability to look at a situation, determine how to represent it in mathematical terms, and set up a solvable equation is all too frequently forgotten in most pure calculus courses; even experienced calculus users often struggle with setting up problems. VERDICT College or even advanced high school mathematics instructors will find plenty of great examples here to supplement the standard calculus problem sets.—J.J.S. Boyce, formerly with Louis Riel and Pembina Trails Sch. Divisions, Winnipeg

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400841691
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
12 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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Meet the Author

John A. Adam is professor of mathematics at Old Dominion University. He is the author of A Mathematical Nature Walk and Mathematics in Nature, and coauthor of Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin (all Princeton).

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