How Maths and Statistics are Twisted and Abused
In this accessible text Hugh Barker demonstrates how statistics and numbers are used to influence people in matters ranging from shopping for groceries to choosing a political leader. With the aid of clear diagrams and examples he explores techniques including cognitive bias and the manipulation of graphs and charts, and highlights the elements to be wary of when presented with numerical information.
The Strange and Infinite World of Numbers
For devotees of recreational mathematics, Tim Sole presents 28 numbers, starting with .301 (concerning Newcomb’s formula for the proportion of naturally occurring numbers beginning with the digit N) and ending ‘Beyond Infinity’ with Cantor’s amazing discovery that there are an infinite number of numbers bigger than infinity. Among chapters on topics such as the fundamental constant of music (1.059) and Euler’s identity, there are 38 conundrums (with answers) for the mathematically inclined.
Get Smart: Maths
The Big Ideas You Should Know
Aiming to fire her reader’s mathematical imagination, Julia Collins presents an introduction to 50 concepts in mathematics, from ‘fundamental’ topics such as number systems and game theory to the ‘mind-blowing’, including the Riemann hypothesis and other Millennium Prize Problems. Each chapter has five questions to assess your understanding of a concept, ‘Ten Things a Genius Knows’ explaining it, and a bluffer’s guide to make you sound as if you know what you’re talking about.
Gunpowder and Geometry
From his humble beginning as a Newcastle pit boy in the 1740s, Charles Hutton rose to become a Fellow of the Royal Society by the time he was 40. This biography follows his meteoric ascent and describes his contributions to mathematics, including work on the force of gunpowder and calculating the mass of the Earth.
The Remarkable Lives of Numbers
A Mathematical Compendium from 1 to 200
For those who have never heard of Keith numbers or Euler bricks but think they sound interesting, Derrick Niederman offers an engrossing miscellany to satisfy the ‘intellectually curious’. He sets out the arithmetic, geometry and stories of every number from 1 to 200: the 20-sided icosahedron, we learn, is the structure within many viruses; and 42, apart from being the answer to everything, was how many boxes Lewis Carroll gave the Baker in The Hunting of the Snark.
A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
Maths for Mums and Dads
Designed to help parents re-engage with mathematics, to shed light on how teaching methods have changed and, most importantly, to make the subject more fun for children and adults, this volume covers the basics of the primary school curriculum. It highlights common errors and includes sample questions, mock exam papers and a comprehensive glossary that offers a simple description and a visual or numerical example for each term.
The I Used to Know That Maths Activity Book
Stuff You Forgot From School
This elementary refresher course, aimed at adults wishing to revive their maths skills, explains the key concepts of arithmetic, fractions, probability, statistics, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Simple step-by-step quizzes on each subject (100 in total) include straightforward calculations, equation solving and multiple-choice questions. There are also a few shapes to draw. Answers are provided at the back.
At the Edge of Infinity and Beyond
Aleph-null is the cardinality, or size, of the set of natural numbers, and is a ‘countably infinite cardinal’. Remarkably, whereas 1 + 1 = 2, 1 + aleph-null = aleph-null. The authors of this advanced maths explainer utilize plain English in an attempt to convey difficult mathematical concepts, including large numbers, higher dimensions, computation and primes, fusing historical, philosophical and anecdotal aspects of each concept with the decidedly technical. Slightly off-mint.
Mathematics for the Curious
For readers who are free of exams and the stress of having to get it right, Peter Higgins offers a chance ‘to wonder at the mathematical scenery’. Exploring questions such as ‘How many matches are played in a tennis tournament?’ and ‘What are your chances of winning the lottery?’ he gives an entertaining account of what mathematics can do.
The Humongous Book of Geometry Problems
The best way to learn about geometry is to work through lots of problems and proofs – but it can be frustrating when a textbook just gives you the answer without explaining clearly how to reach it. This collection of 1,000 problems is fully annotated with tips and step-by-step solutions to guide you through basic rules and concepts, from parallel and intersecting lines to vectors, transformations and truth tables, by way of the key theorems for circles and triangles. Slightly off-mint.