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Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About the World of Sports Hardcover


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Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About the World of Sports + Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football + Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393063410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393063417
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“...Barrow’s writing is accessible and entertaining, just the thing for mathematically minded sports fans.” (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is known internationally for his research in cosmology and for his popular science writing. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

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Customer Reviews

I found it lopsided towards math and did not feed my sports cravings.
Positive Pete
In this book, the author describes various sports, including a great many from the Olympics, and proceeds to analyze them using physical and mathematical principles.
G. Poirier
It's hard to imagine that a reader who hadn't met these ideas before would be satisfied.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Positive Pete on September 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered the book through an article in Scientific American. Being 1st a sports enthusiast and 2nd scientifically minded, I was very excited to buy the book. If you are a calculator-head and love everything math, you will probably enjoy this book greatly. I found it lopsided towards math and did not feed my sports cravings. It is written at an above average reading level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier on September 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this book, the author describes various sports, including a great many from the Olympics, and proceeds to analyze them using physical and mathematical principles. Many of these analyses focus on the physical performance of the given sport, others on the scoring system and yet a few others on winning strategies. A few chapters address less sports-like events such as coin flipping, probability, psychology, etc. Having read the author's excellent "100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know", I was eagerly expecting more of the same in this book but with a sports-related twist. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

On the positive side, there are many interesting sports details discussed in this book - especially about Olympic events. Consequently, I learned much about the various Olympic sports, as well as a bit on their history. Also, many of the physical/mathematical analyses are as interesting as I had hoped and were a great pleasure to read. Finally, the author's writing style is very friendly, chatty, lively and generally accessible.

On the negative side, the book contains too many errors, omissions, erroneous labelling of diagrams, incomplete/misleading diagrams and some rather unclear descriptions. Taken together, I found these to be extremely frustrating. Also, I must agree with a prior reviewer who pointed out that some rather British sports - predominantly rugby and cricket - are discussed with the assumption that the reader knows all about them: terminology, rules, etc. For North American readers like me, this is not necessarily the case. In retrospect, it almost appears as though the book was rushed into print without proper editing. The author often mentions the "future" London 2012 Olympics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a physicist and like to use sport to illustrate bits of physics. That said it is very difficult making something that is interesting and useful for a general audience - I know as I've tried. Mathletics does it. Interesting at all levels and many examples are launching grounds for deeper looks.

We need more popular math and science books like this .. I hope there is a followup!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the maths was a bit esoteric and could have been made simpler. More attention could have been applied to limits of swimming speeds.
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