- Grade Level: 09 - 12
- Paperback: 180 pages
- Publisher: HOLT MCDOUGAL; 1 edition (August 18, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0809058405
- ISBN-13: 978-0809058402
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 16.1 x 207 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 159 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences 1st Edition
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“Our society would be unimaginably different if the average person truly understood the ideas in this marvelous and important book.” ―Douglas Hofstadter
“[An] elegant ... Survival Manual ... Brief, witty and full of practical applications.” ―Stefan Kanfer, Time
About the Author
John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University and the author of several other popular books on mathematics, is a regular contributor to national publications, including The New York Times and Newsweek. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Top customer reviews
The author also tries to understand why it is almost considered acceptable for a person to admit that one is "bad with numbers", while it not being ok to be "bad with words". The realm of psychology is not his forte, but the ideas he points to are interesting.
Overall, this is an easy to read book, much easier even to one literate with numbers. I was done with it in 3 hours, and was left wanting more, so much so that I am now buying some more of his works. If they are half as good as Innumeracy, then they will be good enough.
Certain parts of the book require basic math knowledge (exponents, division, percents, etc). Paulos does his best to dumb down the math and he does so effectively but unfortunately I fear there is a decent swath of people that should be reading this book that probably could not comprehend parts of it. Thankfully those parts are not too frequent.
Honestly, this book felt a bit like "See Spot Run," but for mathematics instead of the English language. Even though it was a bit boring for the mathematically inclined, I highly recommend it for anyone suffering from "Mathematical Illiteracy." If you have ever said to yourself "I'm not a numbers person," then this book is for you.
Paulos explained the errors people make when evaluating statistics or the results of studies. The book helps people become aware of numbers and math in a way that makes sense.
He explained how people mistake correlations and causal relationships in statistics. One example, The participants in a spelling bee -- people with large feet are better spellers. It is not because the people have large feet that makes them better spellers it is because they are older.
Other topics included how people can become better aware of numbers like million, billion, trillion. He explains probability. Random numbers etc.
I will buy this book.