ISBN-10:
026251429X
ISBN-13:
9780262514293
Pub. Date:
03/05/2010
Publisher:
MIT Press
Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving

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

by Sanjoy Mahajan, Carver A. Mead
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262514293
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/05/2010
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 134
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

Steven Strogatz

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.

David MacKay

All students and teachers of mathematics and science, whatever their level, will find a wealth of fun and practical tools in this fantastic book.

Endorsement

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

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

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

Eric Mazur

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.

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Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sarah_Chade More than 1 year ago
This book was a thought-provoking read that brought up unique ideas about how to approach mathematics. There is an often unheard of view about how to consider common dilemmas in this book that reveals to not purely focus on rules when attempting to problem solve. This exemplifies an untraditional approach that reveals the need for estimations and not always exact answers that can often take too much time to solve and focus too strongly on calculations. One of my favorite aspects of this book was surprisingly the title, Street-Fighting Mathematics. This theme carried through the entire read and related to all points that Mahajan was presenting by connecting how rules often do not apply in situations and how one needs to be able to use reason in order to solve problems. Six tools were described that reveal how to “street-fight mathematics”: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. I thought that reasoning by analogy was the most effective tool and was presented the best. The advice was simply to find an easier problem similar to the one at hand and compare it to what is trying to be solved. This was most relatable to real life situations in my opinion because there are so many uses in being able to compare and utilize the information from a simple situation and apply it to a more complex one. Some aspects that I believe could have been improved upon would be the examples that were given in the book. There were plenty of examples given and they were all well explained, but I wish that some were given that applied to real-world situations instead of only academic problems. I believe that this would have helped to broaden my understanding of Mahajan’s points and allow me to utilize his advice better in my life. Overall, I would recommend this book because it was an easy to understand read that still gave a wealth of information as well as being well organized and the explanations were thorough.