An Easygoing, Highly Entertaining Refresher on all the Math You'll Ever Need.

What do two goats and a car have to do with making good decisions? Was the golden ratio used to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu? Can it be that some numbers are unmistakably "hot," while others are inherently "cool"? With his infectiously enthusiastic and engaging style, award-winning teacher and author Sherman K. Stein offers a new appreciation for mathematics, from the beauty of its logic ("as inevitable and memorable as a Mozart symphony") to its amazing power and pervasiveness in our lives. Requiring no math knowledge beyond basic arithmetic and high school geometry, Strength in Numbers is an enlightening introduction to all the math you'll ever need.

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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.

Joy and power in math? Of course! As well as practicality, versatility, simplicity . . . and fun. Strength in Numbers offers a highly entertaining exploration of the math we use in our daily lives—from calculating mortgage payments, to choosing credit card rates, to deciphering statistics.

As award-winning teacher and author Sherman Stein reveals, math is much more than "a collection of procedures to calculate numbers." It is an essential tool with which to understand the world around us. And while the relevance of math to everyday life is emphasized, the author's lively survey of such intriguing concepts as "hot" and "cool" numbers, as well as brainteasers like the puzzle of the Egyptian rope, make Strength in Numbers rich reading.

Along the way, Stein exposes many myths—from the idea that there is nothing new in math to the notion that there may be a gene for mathematical talent. He praises the beauty of such mathematical wonders as the Golden Triangle, and reveals the fascinating ways in which math is used to solve problems in science, such as biologists' use of the slope of a curve to calculate species growth.

With his engaging style, Stein offers a new appreciation for the amazing properties of mathematics, from the beauty of its logic ("as inevitable and memorable as a Mozart symphony") to its power and pervasiveness in our lives. Requiring no math knowledge beyond basic arithmetic and high school geometry, Strength in Numbers is an enlightening introduction to all the math we need.

What is the spell of cool numbers? Was the golden ratio used to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu? What do two goats and a car have to do with making good decisions? In Strength in Numbers, award-winning teacher and author Sherman K. Stein offers an entertaining exploration of the surprising ways in which the language of mathematics can enhance our understanding of the world around us.

"After finishing this book, you should have a clearer idea of the importance of mathematics in the 'real' world and the ability to read the language of mathematics. I hope, in addition, you will have gained an appreciation of the beauty of mathematics and the elegance of its reasoning."—from Chapter 1

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Published by
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(1996)

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