What's the Use?: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics (Hardback)
  • What's the Use?: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics (Hardback)
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What's the Use?: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics (Hardback)

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£20.00 £17.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 19/08/2021
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Waterstones Says

Profound and captivating, What’s the Use? is an ode to mathematics, exploring the myriad of ways in which its applications are hard at work behind the scenes of our everyday life, from politics to food deliveries to kidney transplants.

Many people think mathematics is useless. They're wrong.

In the UK, the 2.8 million people employed in mathematical science occupations contributed GBP208 billion to the economy in a single year – that's 10 per cent of the workforce contributing 16 per cent of the economy.

What's the Use? asks why there is such a vast gulf between public perceptions of mathematics and reality. It shows how mathematics is vital, often in surprising ways, behind the scenes of daily life. How politicians pick their voters. How an absurd little puzzle solved 300 years ago leads to efficient methods for kidney transplants. How an Irish mathematician's obsession with a new number system improves special effects in movies and computer games. How SatNav relies on at least six mathematical techniques. And how a bizarre, infinitely wiggly curve, helps to optimise deliveries to your door.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781259412
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Richly informative [and] revealing ... If you believe mathematics offers little of practical use, Stewart is back to show you the error of your ways ... The acclaimed mathematics popularizer writes for an audience prepared to pay attention to ingenious yet undoubtedly complex insights' - Kirkus

Praise for Ian Stewart:

'Stewart is Britain's most brilliant and prolific populariser of maths' - Alex Bellos

'This is not pure maths. It is maths contaminated with wit, wisdom, and wonder ... He guides us on a mind-boggling journey from the ultra trivial to the profound. Thoroughly entertaining' - New Scientist

'Humbling and inspiring. Stewart shows with his typical clarity how the power of pure thought has shaped our world for over two millennia' - Jim Al-Khalili, FRS

'This is a superb Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities that deserves a place with the classics of the genre.' - Mathematics Today

'With captivating stories and his signature clarity, Ian Stewart shows us how math makes the world - and the rest of the universe - go round.' - Steven Strogatz, Professor of Mathematics, Cornell University

'Stewart has served up the instructive equivalent of a Michelin-starred tasting menu, or perhaps a smorgasbord of appetisers. And of course, appetisers are designed to give you an appetite for more.' - Tim Radford, Guardian

'Intriguing ... Do Dice Play God? is a challenging but rewarding trip through a quantum world of uncertainties.' - Publishers' Weekly

'The innumerate will struggle, but every reader will encounter gems and jolts in this expert analysis of probability' - Kirkus

'[An] engaging history ... [Stewart] at his best' - Tom Whipple, Times

'[An] entertaining guide' - Wall Street Journal

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