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Life By the Numbers

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471328223
ISBN-10: 0471328227
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

Review

Acclaim for Life by the Numbers

"Not in many, many years have I seen a book as instructive and enlightening about the beauty of mathematics. Life by the Numbers is truly superb. Sheer fun." ―Amir Aczel, author of Fermat's Last Theorem

"A fascinating 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." ―Sir Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind

"This wondrous book reveals how, on the brink of the millennium, wizards are using math to bring movie dinosaurs to life, to improve tennis stars' serves, to win sailboat races, and to probe the eeriest corners of the cosmos. A pleasurable read for adult and young alike." ―Keay Davidson, coauthor of Wrinkles in Time

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (March 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471328227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471328223
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Life by the Numbers has a simple thesis to prove: that math is anywhere and everywhere; but instead of asserting the pervading ubiquity of mathematics whether you like it or not, the book convinces you that you *will* like it, period.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to read! My teenage son loved the book! Found it very interesting
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Format: Hardcover
You can count on this book to entertain.
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Format: Paperback
The author (i.a.) has written better books.

Here he takes the low road in a production that

most math aficionados regard as a forgettable and

misguided venture.
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