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Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn't Learn in School
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Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn't Learn in School

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  28 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
How can we solve the national debt crisis?

Should you or your child take on a student loan?

Is it safe to talk on a cell phone while driving?

Are there viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels?

What could you do with a billion dollars?

Could simple policy changes reduce political polarization?

These questions may all seem very different, but they share two things in common. Fi
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Roberts and Company Publishers
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Sep 06, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, especially as I've long considered myself a math-phobe. Bennett is an engaging, efficient, and persuasive writer. This book elegantly blends explanation with opinion on topics that should interest every citizen. I especially liked how each chapter started by posing a question to the reader--this was a brilliant device executed consistently well. I look forward to looking up some of Bennett's other books, both for adults and children.
Tom Schulte
Bennett here seeks to make mathematics relevant. He has good examples such as election vote counting, political districting, energy and population exponential models, tax laws, and more. Books like this often lead in with extreme numbers: atoms in the universe, atoms in a dot, etc. This book does the same and I think such intuition challenging magnitudes are cheap parlor tricks. The rest of the book is well-done arguments toward applying basic mathematical literacy, which I agree with the author ...more
Carlos Ramos
Feb 09, 2015 Carlos Ramos rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. I was rather unaware (not to say skeptical) of the role of maths in my life, and I am an engineer. I almost hated math, and considered it useless, something to be avoided even in my line of work. It was not until my master's degree when I knew math was in everything, and I became a believer of my new idol called math. This book further introduces me into the world of math, all that I must have known. All that I wish my teachers taught me. A book every teacher should know, a new vie ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you consider yourself "bad" at math? Did you do well in math while in school? Well, it does not matter what answer you give to those questions as Jeffrey Bennett demonstrates in Math for Life. You are using math in your daily life whether you realize it or not, although it is generally not algebraic equations. Dividing a pie evenly, cutting a pizza to fit the number of folks around the table, baking with its use of proportions, etc. all these tasks have you using math unconsciously.

What Jeff
Apr 02, 2014 Dana rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on-it
I chose this book to read because I am not good at math or a math lover, and this book sounded like it might be helpful and interesting. I agree with the author that math needs to be taught differently in the USA and that children need to memorize basic facts including their multiplication tables. I currently substitute teach and yesterday had a 6th grade student tell me that she needed a calculator because it is not possible to divide 21 by 2. So sad. I think that the information in this book i ...more
Ukela A.
Apr 30, 2014 Ukela A. rated it really liked it
A thorough discussion on the subject and lots of very good and very practical ideas of the concept of bringing math into our everyday lives.
Sep 03, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: project_2012
More a pro-math manifesto than anything else. Bennett wants more people to appreciate how math can inform the major issues that people face everyday -- from thinking critically about statistics, to better understanding your personal finances, to knowing how both Democrats and Republicans use districting to their advantages, to realizing just how dire a situation we face with both the environment and the national debt (as well as the deficit). I appreciated his argument, certainly, but wish he ha ...more
This book is a gem. I don't care how math phobic you are, Jeffrey Bennett, who has a can do attitude that puts cheerleaders to shame, will make you feel comfortable and even smart as he walks you through some interesting and important examples of math in every day life. I hope this book ends up in some classrooms across the country - it would be a perfect addition for a life skills class!
Feb 03, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. Very enlightening with regards to mathematics in real life.
Nov 03, 2012 Amber rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I will be the first to say that I hated math when I was in school. but what surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed this book.

This book has elegantly blends explanation with opinion on topics that should interest everyone.
Jan 23, 2013 Gwen marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction-math
Skim over the introduction and dive right in to Thinking with Numbers where big numbers are explained in terms you may not have ever considered. Hope the whole book is this fascinating.
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