How Not to Be Wrong The Power of Mathematical Thinking

ISBN-10: 1594205221
ISBN-13: 9781594205224
Edition: 2014
Authors: Jordan Ellenberg
List price: $27.95 Buy it from $13.38
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Description: The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/29/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

Jordan Ellenberg was born in 1971 and grew up in Potomac, Maryland. After receiving his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from Harvard and his masters degree from Johns Hopkins, he became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. His column Do the Math, appears regularly in the online journal Slate. This is his first novel.

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