Figuring It Out: Entertaining Encounters with Everyday Math

Figuring It Out: Entertaining Encounters with Everyday Math

by Nuno Crato

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2010)

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Figuring It Out: Entertaining Encounters with Everyday Math by Nuno Crato

This is a book of mathematical stories — funny and puzzling mathematical stories. They tell of villains who try to steal secrets, heroes who encode their messages, and mathematicians who spend years on end searching for the best way to pile oranges.

There are also stories about highway confusions occurring when the rules of Cartesian geometry are ignored, small-change errors due to ignorance of ancient paradoxes, and mistakes in calendars arising from poor numerical approximations.

This book is about the power and beauty of mathematics. It shows mathematics in action, explained in a way that everybody can understand. It is a book for enticing youngsters and inspiring teachers.

Nuno Crato is a leading science writer and mathematician, whose entertaining essays have won a number of international awards.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783662505526
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 08/23/2016
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2010
Pages: 227
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

Nuno Crato is one of the leading science writers in Portugal. He is a professor of Mathematics at the Technca1 University of Lisbon, current president of the Portuguese Mathematical Society, a researcher in shastic processes, and a well-known science popularizer.
Nuno Crato is the author of several best-selling popular science books and takes a leading role in bringing mathemalics to a wider audience. He is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines and author of radio and TV programmes. Through these channels he brings regularly and to a vast audience a scientific perspective on a wide variety of current news and events.

In 2003 he was awarded the First Prize on the «Raising Public Awareness on Mathematics» competition organized by the European Mathematics Society.

In 2008 the European Union awarded him a European Science Award (ex-Descartes prize). He won the second place as «Science Communicator of the Year».. Previous winners of this prize include Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bryson. The prize statement coined the phrase «Cratos approach» for his science popularizing style. The jury characterized his writings as «easy to read. but also informative and scientifically sound», stressing that they address topics of «major public interest [...] dealt with humour, intelligence and a distinct journalistic style».

Table of Contents

1.Everyday Matters.The dinner table algorithm.-Cutting the Christmas cake.-Oranges and computers.-When two and two don’t make four.-Getting more intelligent every day.-The other lane always goes faster.-Shoelaces and neckties.-Number puzzles.-Tossing a coin.-The switch.- Eubulides, the heap and the euro.- 2.The Earth Is Round. How GPS works.-Gear wheels.- February 29.-The nonius scale.- Pedro Nunes’ map.- Lighthouse geometry.-Asteroids and least squares.-The useful man and the genius.-3.Secret Affairs. Alice and Bob.- Inviolate cybersecrets.-Quantum cryptography.-The FBI wavelet.-The Enigma machine.-4. Art And Geometry.The Vitruvian Man.-The golden number.-The geometry of A4 paper sizes.-The strange worlds of Escher.-Escher and the Möbius belt.-Picasso, Einstein and the fourth dimension.-Pollock’s fractals.-Voronoi diagrams.-The Platonic solids.-Pythagorean mosquitoes.-The most beautiful of all.- 5. Mathematical Matters.The power of math.-Doubts in the realm of certainty.-When chance enhances reliability.-The difficulty of randomness.-Conjectures and proofs.-Mr. Benford.-Financial fractals.-The Turing test.- DNA computers.-Magical multiplications.-Pi day.-The best job in the world.- 6. Out Of This World. Electoral paradoxes.-The melon paradox.- The cupcake paradox.- Infinity.-Unfair games.-Monsieur Bertrand.-Boy or Girl?.-A puzzle for Christmas.-Crisis time for Easter Eggs.

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