The Math Behind...

The Math Behind... : Discover the Mathematics of Everyday Events

3.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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An entertaining illustrated reference to the role of mathematics in everyday life.

The Math Behind... is a fascinating compilation of everyday events analyzed for their probability of occurring and how those odds are determined using mathematical equations and science. The book examines everything from how predictive text works to why buses come in threes and the likelihood that toast will land butter side down. Accessible and clear explanations, without dumbing down the science, and photographs and diagrams illustrate concepts and aid understanding.

There are six chapters. Here are some of the questions covered:

The human condition: Why hipsters look the same What are the chances of you even being born What makes certain songs so catchy Why we find some people more attractive than others

Sports and games: The perfect 9-ball break in pool How to play the lottery How to take a free kick The secret behind Michael Jordan's air time Why the house always wins

From A to B: The "causeless" traffic jam Just how likely is a plane to crash How long would it take a chicken to cross a road Is it possible to have a car journey with no red lights

Rise of the machines: How bitcoins work How easy is it for a hacker to crack your password How does predictive text work How do scam emailers use probability

Chance and coincidence: Does repeatedly clicking a mouse make it work any faster The chances of meeting your soulmate The six degrees of Kevin Bacon How illusionists use mathematics

And another thing: At what percentage does juice become flavored water How penguins have developed the perfect huddle The amount of G-force on a rollercoaster.

The Math Behind... is an entertaining, intelligent and different look at the world around us. Readers interested in probability and mathematics (and readers interested in just about anything else) will enjoy learning why their toast landed butter side down and whether they should spend another $5.00 on a lottery ticket.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 193 x 234 x 13mm | 544g
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1770859985
  • 9781770859982
  • 3,226,194

Review quote

Mathematician, teacher and author Beveridge does what he sets out to and shows that numbers can be fun and friendly in this entertaining book. Math lovers and the math-averse alike will be fascinated by Beveridge's explanations of how the digits of pi can and have been used to write poetry, how the Alhambra Palace in Spain employs geometry and patterns to create optical illusions, and how computer programs scan for plagiarism in college assignments and Shakespeare. The writing is light and amusing, and Beveridge presents the material in a deceptively simple fashion despite the complex principles often involved. The topics are organized into broad categories: the human world, the natural world, technology, sports, entertainment, getting around, and the everyday. Within each chapter, Beveridge explains the math involved in diverse subjects, such as the stock market, elections, tennis, Monopoly, and car crashes. Charts, diagrams, graphs, and other illustrations proliferate and are helpful in breaking down potentially difficult concepts. Whether readers are math geeks looking for new ways of applying mathematics principles or just curious to see how math might actually be applicable in everyday life, this fun, enlightening book will not disappoint.-- (12/11/2017)
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About Colin Beveridge

Colin Beveridge cannot understand why mathematics is not the most popular subject on the planet and he spends his life trying to make it so. After a PhD from St. Andrews in Scotland, he worked on NASA's Living With a Star program before returning to the UK in 2008, where he writes, teaches and gives talks about mathematics.
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Rating details

4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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