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