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How not to be wrong : the power of mathematical thinking

Author: Jordan Ellenberg
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, 2015. ©2014
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Overview: The 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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Trivia and miscellanea
Miscellanea
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jordan Ellenberg
ISBN: 0143127535 9780143127536
OCLC Number: 892041314
Description: 468 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: When am I going to use this? --
Part I: Linearity. Less like Sweden ; Straight locally, curved globally ; Everyone is obese ; How much is that in dead Americans? ; More pie than plate --
Part II: Inference. The Baltimore stockbroker and the Bible Code ; Dead fish don't read minds ; Reductio ad unlikely ; The International journal of haruspicy ; Are you there, God? It's me, Bayesian inference --
Part III: Expectation. What to expect when you're expecting to win the lottery ; Miss more planes! ; Where the train tracks meet --
Part IV: Regression. The triumph of mediocrity ; Galton's ellipse ; Does lung cancer make you smoke cigarettes? --
Part V: Existence. There is no such thing as public opinion ; "Out of nothing I have created a strange new universe" ; How to be right.
Other Titles: Power of mathematical thinking
Responsibility: Jordan Ellenberg.
More information:

Abstract:

Overview: The 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.

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