The Math of Life and Death: 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives, by Kit Yates
From birthdays to birth rates to how we perceive the passing of time, mathematical patterns shape our lives. But for those of us who left math behind in high school, the numbers and figures hurled at us as we go about our days can sometimes leave us scratching our heads and feeling as if we’re fumbling through a mathematical minefield.
In this eye-opening and extraordinarily accessible book, mathematician Kit Yates illuminates hidden principles that can help us understand and navigate the chaotic and often opaque surfaces of our world.
In The Math of Life and Death, Yates takes us on a fascinating tour of everyday situations and grand-scale applications of mathematical concepts, including exponential growth and decay, optimization, statistics and probability, and number systems.
Along the way he reveals the mathematical undersides of controversies over DNA testing, medical screening results, and historical events such as the Chernobyl disaster and the Amanda Knox trial.
Readers will finish this book with an enlightened perspective on the news, the law, medicine, and history, and will be better equipped to make personal decisions and solve problems with math in mind, whether it’s choosing the shortest checkout line at the grocery store or halting the spread of a deadly disease.
“Ponzi schemes, nuclear fission, and viral marketing are just a few of the topics covered in this savvy book…Any inquisitive and open-minded reader can enjoy this valuable primer on the use and abuse of numbers in the everyday world.” - Publishers Weekly
“A welcome addition to the math-for-people-who-hate-math genre...All but the stubbornly innumerate will enjoy this amusing mathematical miscellany.” - Kirkus Reviews