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on 29 September 2017
This book is subtitled "The Hidden Mathematics of Everyday Life". Amongst other things it tells you how to measure gravity on another planet and estimate Pi on a desert island. In my (perhaps limited) experience, these are not everyday occurrences. I felt slightly cheated because the book was originally published in the 1990's and the example it uses were not updated when it was reissued. These are minor quibbles. The book is entertaining and well written. The level of mathematical expertise required to read it is not high and if it helps more people to realise that maths can be useful rather than just abstract then it will have served its purpose.
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on 12 April 2015
This is a short, well-written book chatting about a variety of statistical and mathematical curiosities. I haven't given it a higher rating because although the writing is good, there is very little here that is new and there is generally little depth in the explanations - sometimes none at all. For example, there is a clear and concise description of the Königsburg bridges problem and a serviceable introduction to the "birthday paradox". These are both old chestnuts and - almost inevitably - this book doesn't really have anything new to say about them. Of course if you don't know about these and think you might then this book may be just what you want. I recommend using Amazon's "look inside" to check the contents list and the sample text - you decide.
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on 29 April 2015
As a mathematician I'm always on the lookout for texts that provide an approach intended to make the subject more interesting to the non-specialist. This is an easy read with many interesting and enjoyable examples of how maths relates to everyday life without resorting to the use of complex algebra, etc. Potentially a good resource for teachers who want to try and stimulate interest in their students. Dropped one star as I didn't think that there were enough directions to additional resources particularly for anyone interested in reading about the actual maths relating to the examples discussed.
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on 11 November 2015
I love this kind of book;popular science for adults that I can also use to intrigue my children. There were some interesting things in here but at the end it just felt a bit thin. That said, I bought it for Kindle so it was very cheap, and there are at least 2 sections - bus queues and cake cutting - that I know will pop in to my head whenever I am I doing either of those things, so it was probably worth it. So, lightweight, but interesting enough for the price
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on 25 August 2014
A great and entertaining overview of part of the mathematical world for non-mathematicians, as well as those who already dabble...
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on 29 July 2015
Everyone should read this - you don't need to be a mathematician to understand that things that seem like incredible coincidences are in fact perfectly explained.
An antidote to the sensationalist media and conspiracy theorists.
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on 19 December 2015
Really enjoyable read. As an A-Level mathematician it was definitely accessible for my level but problems are explained from the very basics, and in everyday language, meaning anyone 10+ could probably enjoy it.
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on 30 July 2017
Really interesting
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on 11 October 2016
A good read and easy for the 'mathematically challenged' reader! PB
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on 20 May 2015
Good fun, although some of it is above my head. It presents probability and some maths in a very acceptable way and makes you think as you wait for the bus.
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