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Strength in Numbers: Discovering the Joy and Power of Mathematics in Everyday Life Paperback – January 1, 1999

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471329749 ISBN-10: 0471329746

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Let's cut to the quick. Read this book. Stein has given us a delightful, refreshing new look at old mathematics, and introduces us to the new in a readable and entertaining way.""-New Scientist

""The diverse themes hold the reader throughout. . . . A rich and charming book.""-Choice

""Strength in Numbers should find a home in every school library, and mathematics teachers will want to recommend chapters of this book to their students.""-Mathematics Teacher

From the Publisher

An engaging survey of the fundamental concepts of mathematics and the many ways math is used in everyday life. This is a stimulating and simple reintroduction to all the math we all learned in high school but have forgotten, using many examples of how math applies to the real world. Highlights the math topics that are most relevant to everyday concerns, such as how statistics can be misleading and how interest on savings accounts accrues at different interest rates. Also explores the most fundamental mysteries and amazing properties, such as why two negative numbers multiplied together make a positive number and why fractions can be easily multiplied but not easily added. Uses a multitude of examples from real life such as how extremely large numbers are used to write unbreakable computer codes and how the slope of a curve is used by biologists to calculate the rate of growth of species. It walks the reader step by step through simple solutions to each problem explored. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471329746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471329749
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,207,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Since it does provide much of the foundation for modern societies and the applications are commonly covered with very effective disguises, mathematics is both a pillar and a whipping post. More misunderstood and hence feared than any other subject, it is the only one where it is fashionable and acceptable to profess ignorance. The only solution to this problem is to gently explain how valuable it is and let the economic realities of mathematical knowledge take control. In this book, Stein puts forward many valuable points concerning how necessary mathematics is.
While I do endorse the book, there is one negative point that must be made. The title should be different. One of the points in the book is that mathematics is much more than just number manipulation. Although this is well-known to mathematicians, it is a very common misconception. Therefore, the emphasis on numbers present in the title is unfortunate, but probably necessary for marketing purposes.
Now that the ranting is complete, it is time to praise the interior of the book. All of the points are significant and well made. Stein writes very well, explaining topics in a manner that keeps understanding within the range of the target audience, which is the intelligent layperson. His multiple explanations as to why the product of two negative numbers is positive is excellent. In my career, I have encountered several very educated people in technical fields who really did not understand why this is so. They had simply accepted it because they knew it worked, but had always been afraid of raising the question for fear of embarrassment.
Another point that cannot be emphasized enough is the sudden appearance of a "miracle"(reviewer word) number.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "pragmaticist" on October 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
As titled: Discover the joy and power of mathematics. I divide this book into two halves. The first half is about our relationship with mathematics. It leads you to think of those numbers around you, and eventually you start to think about what's going on. I especially like the chapter on statistical information. The second part is about mathematical knowledge. The eariler chapters are a bit too easy. Yet I like the proofs very much. The last chapter is so fascinating. And it's only 4 pages long! This is a mathematics book I really like.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sactofan on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Professor Stein's book is an amazing read. It's humorous, insightful, and educational. A couple of those "great mysteries" from our math classes in school are solved and you will slap your forehead and say,"Well, they could have taught me THAT years ago!"
I highly recommend this book to all levels of math students AND math teachers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Silverlocks on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Chapter 10, What's In It For Me? is worth the price of the book. "The more mathematics a person knows, the more choices that person will have."

The author analyzed 121 million jobs (from 1992) and categorized them by the level of math required. They all required at least a 4th-6th grade level. One-third required math through calculus. Very illuminating.

I've always been more into reading and writing. I decided to challenge myself with some math reading. Sherman Stein makes most of it understandable!
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