As if they were comedy-club stand-ups, Burger and Starbird employ puns and silly scenarios to tickle those who wouldn't ordinarily pick up a math book. Everyone, however fearful of the topic, uses math in daily life. Two popular fixations with numbers that the authors home in on include the amazing similarities between John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln and playing the lottery. Describing the easy math beneath superficially wondrous things, often no more complicated than enumeration and arithmetic, Burger and Starbird dispel the astounding to reveal what a little logical rigor can do, and they use their schtick to keep things light. Avoiding alarming announcements, they never charge headlong into a topic such as the Golden Ratio, but circumscribe it by counting swirls on pineapples and noting the ratio's frequent appearance in nature and in art. Likewise, Burger and Starbird don't bludgeon readers with number theory, geometry, or topology; they take up origami or spin a yarn about a tsetse fly. A profusely illustrated, bemusingly unorthodox introduction to math. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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“I once had a math teacher who used to throw books at us. If only this had been one of them.” (Ben Longstaff - New Scientist
“Informative, intelligent, and refreshingly irreverent. A roller-coaster ride along the frontiers of today’s mathematics, and anyone can climb on board. I enjoyed it immensely.” (Ian Stewart, author of Flatterland