Author: Hannah Fry,Thomas Oléron Evans
Publisher: Black Swan
How do you apply game theory to select who should be on your Christmas shopping list ? Can you predict Her Majesty's Christmas Message? Will calculations show Santa is getting steadily thinner - shimmying up and down chimneys for a whole night - or fatter - as he tucks into a mince pie and a glass of sherry in billions of houses across the world? Full of diagrams, sketches and graphs, beautiful equations, Markov chains and matrices, Proof That Santa Exists brightens up the bleak midwinter with stockingfuls of mathematiccal marvels. And proves once and for all that maths isn't just for old men with white hair and beards who associate with elves. Maths has never been merrier.
Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation
Author: Hannah Fry
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Family & Relationships
In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love. Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do. In The Mathematics of Love, Dr. Hannah Fry takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the patterns that define our love lives, applying mathematical formulas to the most common yet complex questions pertaining to love: What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the probability that it will last? How do online dating algorithms work, exactly? Can game theory help us decide who to approach in a bar? At what point in your dating life should you settle down? From evaluating the best strategies for online dating to defining the nebulous concept of beauty, Dr. Fry proves—with great insight, wit, and fun—that math is a surprisingly useful tool to negotiate the complicated, often baffling, sometimes infuriating, always interesting, mysteries of love.
Author: Ellis Weiner
The "National Lampoon" editor addresses the reality of Santa Claus as he introduces his five definitive arguments for the existence of the cultural and marketing icon, along with a discussion on the history of Santa.
A Mathematician's Journey Through Narcissistic Numbers, Optimal Dating Algorithms, at Least Two Kinds of Infinity, and More
Author: Matt Parker
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A book from the stand-up mathematician that makes math fun again! Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do—through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts. In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity—and slightly beyond. Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it.
Author: Thomas Oléron Evans,Hannah Fry
Publisher: The Overlook Press
The perfect stocking stuffer for mathophiles—math has never been merrier. How do you apply game theory to select who should be on your Christmas shopping list? What equations should you use to decorate the Christmas tree? Will calculations show Santa is getting steadily thinner—shimmying up and down chimneys for a whole night—or fatter—as he munches on cookies and milk in billions of houses across the world? In The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus, distinguished mathematicians Hannah Fry and Thomas Oléron Evans demonstrate, with eminently readable clarity, how applied mathematics are so thoroughly interwoven throughout our everyday lives by explaining mathematical concepts through one very merry motif: Christmas. In their quest to provide mathematical proof for the existence of Santa, the authors take readers on a festive journey through a traditional holiday season, wherein every activity, from wrapping presents to playing board games to cooking the perfect turkey, is painstakingly and hilariously analyzed. Because who hasn’t always wondered how to set up a mathematically perfect Secret Santa? Lighthearted and diverting with Christmasy diagrams, sketches and graphs, equations, Markov chains, and matrices, The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus brightens up the bleak midwinter with stockingsful of mathematical marvels.
From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey
Author: Roger Highfield
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Why might Rudolph's nose have been red? Why do we actually give Christmas gifts? Why has smell become an important component in the Christmas shopping experience? Roger Highfield, science editor of London's Daily Telegraph and co-author of the highly acclaimed The Arrow of Time, has taken a long-overdue look at our most cherished holiday from the rigorous (but highly entertaining) viewpoint of a scientist. What are the thermodynamics involved in cooking a turkey? What are the likely celestial candidates for the Star of Bethlehem? Is the concept of a virgin birth scientifically feasible? What happens to us physically when we overindulge in alcohol? How does snow form? Why are we always depressed after Christmas? How does Santa manage to deliver all those presents in one night? (He has, in fact, little over two ten- thousands of a second to get between each of the 842 million households he must visit.) The Physics of Christmas is that rare science book that manages to be as delightful as it is informative.
17 Equations That Changed the World
Author: Ian Stewart
Publisher: Basic Books
In In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress. We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances, says Stewart—but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human history. Equations are modeled on the patterns we find in the world around us, says Stewart, and it is through equations that we are able to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world. Stewart locates the origins of each equation he presents—from Pythagoras's Theorem to Newton's Law of Gravity to Einstein's Theory of Relativity—within a particular historical moment, elucidating the development of mathematical and philosophical thought necessary for each equation's discovery. None of these equations emerged in a vacuum, Stewart shows; each drew, in some way, on past equations and the thinking of the day. In turn, all of these equations paved the way for major developments in mathematics, science, philosophy, and technology. Without logarithms (invented in the early 17th century by John Napier and improved by Henry Briggs), scientists would not have been able to calculate the movement of the planets, and mathematicians would not have been able to develop fractal geometry. The Wave Equation is one of the most important equations in physics, and is crucial for engineers studying the vibrations in vehicles and the response of buildings to earthquakes. And the equation at the heart of Information Theory, devised by Claude Shannon, is the basis of digital communication today. An approachable and informative guide to the equations upon which nearly every aspect of scientific and mathematical understanding depends, In Pursuit of the Unknown is also a reminder that equations have profoundly influenced our thinking and continue to make possible many of the advances that we take for granted.
How Algorithms Will Decide Our Future and Why We Should Learn to Live with It
Author: Hannah Fry
Publisher: W. W. Norton
If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence--a mathematically consistent algorithm incapable of empathy or a compassionate human judge prone to bias and error? What if you want to buy a driverless car and must choose between one programmed to save as many lives as possible and another that prioritizes the lives of its own passengers? And would you agree to share your family's full medical history if you were told that it would help researchers find a cure for cancer?These are just some of the dilemmas that we are beginning to face as we approach the age of the algorithm, when it feels as if the machines reign supreme. Already, these lines of code are telling us what to watch, where to go, whom to date, and even whom to send to jail. But as we rely on algorithms to automate big, important decisions--in crime, justice, healthcare, transportation, and money--they raise questions about what we want our world to look like. What matters most: Helping doctors with diagnosis or preserving privacy? Protecting victims of crime or preventing innocent people being falsely accused?Hello World takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us on a daily basis. Mathematician Hannah Fry reveals their inner workings, showing us how algorithms are written and implemented, and demonstrates the ways in which human bias can literally be written into the code. By weaving in relatable, real world stories with accessible explanations of the underlying mathematics that power algorithms, Hello World helps us to determine their power, expose their limitations, and examine whether they really are improvement on the human systems they replace.
Author: Burkard Polster,Marty Ross
Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.
A Dingo Ate My Math Book presents ingenious, unusual, and beautiful nuggets of mathematics with a distinctly Australian flavor. It focuses, for example, on Australians' love of sports and gambling, and on Melbourne's iconic, mathematically inspired architecture. Written in a playful and humorous style, the book offers mathematical entertainment as well as a glimpse of Australian culture for the mathematically curious of all ages. This collection of engaging stories was extracted from the Maths Masters column that ran from 2007 to 2014 in Australia's Age newspaper. The maths masters in question are Burkard Polster and Marty Ross, two (immigrant) Aussie mathematicians, who each week would write about math in the news, providing a new look at old favorites, mathematical history, quirks of school mathematics—whatever took their fancy. All articles were written for a very general audience, with the intention of being as inviting as possible and assuming a minimum of mathematical background.
Surprisingly Interesting Maths
Author: Rob Eastaway
Publisher: JR Books Limited
DIV How many socks make a pair? The answer is not always two. And behind this question lies a world of maths that can be surprising, amusing and even beautiful. Using playing cards, a newspaper, the back of an envelope, a Sudoku, some pennies and of course a pair of socks, Rob Eastaway shows how maths can demonstrate its secret beauties in even the most mundane of everyday objects. If you already like maths youÕll discover plenty of new surprises. And if youÕve never picked up a maths book in your life, this one will change your view of the subject forever. /div
A Philosophical Investigation
Author: Eric Kaplan
A humorous philosophical investigation into the existence of Santa—from a co–executive producer of The Big Bang Theory Emmy award–winning comedy writer and philosophy scholar Eric Kaplan brilliantly turns a search for the truth about Santa into a laugh-out-loud metaphysical romp. Surveying everything from the analytic philosophy of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein to Buddhism, Taoism, and Kabbalah, Kaplan alights on comedy—including The Big Bang Theory and Monty Python—as the best way to resolve life’s most profound paradoxes, including the existence of perfect moments, Santa, and even God. Does Santa Exist? is the perfect stocking stuffer for the deep thinker on everyone’s list.
Author: David Nelson
Publisher: Penguin UK
The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics takes in all branches of pure and applied mathematics, from algebra to mechanics and from number theory to statistics. Invaluable for students at all levels, it is also a useful and versatile source book for economists, business people, engineers, technicians and scientists of all kinds who use mathematics in the course of their work.
The Science of Christmas
Author: Roger Highfield
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
How does snow form? Why are we always depressed after Christmas? How does Santa manage to deliver all those presents in one night? (He has, in fact, little over two ten-thousandths of a second to get between each of the 842 million households he must visit.) This book contains information on how drugs might make us see flying reindeer, how pollution is affecting the shape of Christmas trees, and the intriguing correlation between the length of our Christmas card list and brain size.
Author: Judith Flanders
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
A critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author explores the Christmas holiday, from the original festival through present day traditions. Christmas has always been a magical time. Or has it? Thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, the Pope was already warning that too many people were spending the day, not in worship, but in partying and eating to excess. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically remembering Christmas in the old days, certain that it had been better then. Other elements of Christmas are much newer – who would have thought gift-wrap is a novelty of the twentieth century? That the first holiday parade was neither at Macy’s, nor even in the USA? Some things, however, never change. The first known gag holiday gift book, The Boghouse Miscellany, was advertised in the 1760s ‘for gay Gallants, and good companions’, while in 1805, the leaders of the Lewis and Clark expedition exchanged – what else? – presents of underwear and socks. Christmas is all things to all people: a religious festival, a family celebration, a period of eating and drinking. In Christmas: A Biography, bestselling author and acclaimed social historian Judith Flanders casts a sharp eye on myths, legends and history, deftly moving from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire, through Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might be the first appearance of Santa Claus – in Switzerland – to draw a picture of the season as it has never been seen before.
A survival guide for the bored and desperate
Author: Jonathan Swan
Publisher: Random House
The perfect stocking filler for frustrated commuters everywhere! Commuting is hell -- this is your survival guide Delays, price rises, leaves on the line, rail replacement bus services, snowflakes, sunshine, rain, the list of excuses is endless. Forget enjoyment, commuting is about survival. This is your guide to getting to work and back again with your sanity intact. Packed with quizzes (what kind of commuter are you?), trivia (the dirtiest seats on the Underground), tips and techniques (seat etiquette, armpit dodging), a commuter's lexicon (Comfort paradox, Seat remorse), complaint letter templates and more, this is everything you need to channel your fury and make the best of the journey to work. This book is a call to arms and a sign of solidarity amongst commuters. Whenever you see a fellow traveller with a copy, give them the secret sign of the commuter: ignore them completely. But inside you both will know that you are part of a silent army. We are commuters. We are coming. But we will probably be at least half an hour late.
Author: Jane Struthers
Publisher: Random House
- What is the significance of holly at Christmas? - When should you make your figgy pudding? - Why was the Old Lad's Passing Bell rung on Christmas Eve? - And who was Good King Wenceslas? Did you know that, long before turkey arrived on our shores, it was traditional to serve a roasted wild boar's head at Christmas? Or that our Christmases were once so cold that Frost Fairs were held on the River Thames? Christmas Day was first celebrated on 25 December in the fourth century CE. But when should our Christmas decorations come down - Twelfth Day, Twelfth Night ... or Candlemas? And why? Packed with fascinating facts about ancient religious customs and traditional feasts, instructions for Victorian parlour games and the stories behind our favourite carols, The Book of Christmas is a captivating volume about our Christmas past.
The Mathematical Magic in Everyday Life
Author: Peter Lynch
Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
From atom bombs to rebounding slinkies, open your eyes to the mathematical magic in the everyday. Mathematics isn’t just for academics and scientists, a fact meteorologist and blogger Peter Lynch has spent the past several years proving through his Irish Times newspaper column and blog, That’s Maths. Here, he shows how maths is all around us, with chapters on the beautiful equations behind designing a good concert venue, predicting the stock market and modelling the atom bomb, as well as playful meditations on everything from coin-stacking to cartography. If you left school thinking maths was boring, think again!
The Best Lines From Australian Stand-Up Comedy
Author: Karl Chandler
Publisher: Penguin UK
Karl Chandler is a funny bugger and so are his mates. In fact, our local talent has been killing it in clubs and festivals the world over. Lucky for us, these comics have worked around their hectic schedules setting their alarm clocks for before midday and logging off Twitter to cough up some of the most pants-wettingly funny stuff you'll read all year. This is a line-up of the hottest comedians around, giving you a front-row seat to their best material. I stopped writing a diary when I read Anne Frank's effort. That genre has been conquered. HANNAH GADSBY Television is a very powerful tool. But then again, so is Eddie McGuire. GREG FLEET Throw your hands in the air like you just don't care. Unless you're at an auction. DAVE THORNTON The other day I got a big pile of money and burned it. Sorry, I mean I joined a gym. CELIA PACQUOLA I like to go to the library, get all the books on feng shui out, and put them back in the wrong section. KARL CHANDLER
A Mathematical Odyssey through Everyday Life
Author: Marcus du Sautoy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Every time we download music, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our cell phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. In The Number Mysteries, one of our generation's foremost mathematicians Marcus du Sautoy offers a playful and accessible examination of numbers and how, despite efforts of the greatest minds, the most fundamental puzzles of nature remain unsolved. Du Sautoy tells about the quest to predict the future—from the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to forecasting population growth. He brings to life the beauty behind five mathematical puzzles that have contributed to our understanding of the world around us and have helped develop the technology to cope with it. With loads of games to play and puzzles to solve, this is a math book for everyone.
What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
Author: Noson S. Yanofsky
Publisher: MIT Press
Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, mathematics, and reason tell us cannot be revealed. In The Outer Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be understood. He discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own thought processes.Yanofsky describes simple tasks that would take computers trillions of centuries to complete and other problems that computers can never solve; perfectly formed English sentences that make no sense; different levels of infinity; the bizarre world of the quantum; the relevance of relativity theory; the causes of chaos theory; math problems that cannot be solved by normal means; and statements that are true but cannot be proven. He explains the limitations of our intuitions about the world -- our ideas about space, time, and motion, and the complex relationship between the knower and the known.Moving from the concrete to the abstract, from problems of everyday language to straightforward philosophical questions to the formalities of physics and mathematics, Yanofsky demonstrates a myriad of unsolvable problems and paradoxes. Exploring the various limitations of our knowledge, he shows that many of these limitations have a similar pattern and that by investigating these patterns, we can better understand the structure and limitations of reason itself. Yanofsky even attempts to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there.