Strength in Numbers

Discovering the Joy and Power of
Mathematics in Everyday Life

SHERMAN K. STEIN

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 livesfrom 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 toot 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 "coot" 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.

SHERMAN K. STEIN is Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Davis, where he received a distinguished teaching award. He is also a recipient of the Lester R. Ford Prize of the Mathematical Association of America for excellence in exposition on math. He is the author of Mathematics: The Man-Made Universe, as well as The Guided Inquiry, a series of books on math for high school students. He lives in Davis, California.

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