- Hardcover: 214 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 10, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471240443
- ISBN-13: 978-0471240440
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,199,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Life by the Numbers 1st Edition
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Most of us think mathematics is about numbers and counting. That's just the basics, though, and Keith Devlin's companion book to the PBS series "Life by the Numbers" gives examples of the versatility of math as a tool for understanding just about everything. Devlin loves math--he calls it "one of the greatest creations of mankind" in a chapter entitled "It's an M World"--and he wants everyone to love it. He shows, through fascinating photos and examples, that mathematics is all around us, determining everything from the shape of a flower to how our CD players and insurance policies work. For the math-phobic, Life by the Numbers can be a reintroduction to a subject they may have mistakenly thought dry and boring. Forget about long division, we're talking about understanding virtual reality, leopard spots, and viruses. This book would be perfect to introduce a high-school student to some of the great careers available to mathematicians. The experts introduced throughout are hip and cutting-edge, putting math to work in movie special effects, sports and art. Profusely illustrated and engagingly written, Devlin's tour of modern mathematics brings the subject to life. --Therese Littleton
"Not in many, many years have I seen a book nearly as instructive, enlightening, and sheer fun about the beauty of mathematics. Life by the Numbers is truly superb."—Amir Aczel, author of Fermat's Last Theorem
"A beautiful book. . . . The aim is not to teach but to entertain, and it succeeds. The view that mathematics is dull is replaced by an image of how math can be both interesting and useful, if not all-powerful."—New Scientist
"Life by the Numbers provides a fascinating and readable account of many of the ways in which mathematical ideas find application in the world around us. Keith Devlin is to be congratulated for bringing these ideas so accessibly to the public at large."—Sir Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind
A recent article entitled "Get smart by getting some of these books" ran by The Associated Press in newspapers nationwide. "Keith Devlin's LIFE BY THE NUMBERS shows you how to look at math in a wider perspective, observing how it affects everything you do in life. This book deliberately leaves out equations and formulae so you can concentrate on what math is really for."—The Associated Press, nationally syndicated wire service
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The book is richly illustrated and jargon-free, true to its promise on clarity and easy-of-reading especially for the non-professional readers. It is not so much of a wild speculation however to suggest that even a professional (specialist) mathematician will get a worthy entertainment reading this book, considering the wide spectrum of human interests where mathematics is unexpectedly to lurk that Devlin adventurously explores.