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# The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs)

There are two kinds of math: the hard kind and the easy kind. The easy kind, practiced by ants, shrimp, Welsh Corgis — and us — is innate. But what innate calculating skills do we humans have? Leaving aside built-in mathematics, such as the visual system, ordinary people do just fine when faced with mathematical tasks in the course of the day. Yet when they are confronted
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Paperback, 288 pages

Published
May 31st 2006
by Basic Books
(first published March 15th 2005)

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 421)

Unfortunately, the book doesn’t quite de ...more

"أنتَ عبقري رياضيات. وكذلك السلطعونات، الطيور، القطط والكلاب"

هكذا يبدأ الكاتب كيث دلفن بشرح كتابه، لكن يزيد ويتطرق إلى النمل، الأسود، الفراشات وحتى النباتات! (وغيرهم). يدور الكتاب حول محورين: جميع ما في الطبيعة يستطيع تنفيذ حسابات رياضية شديدة في التعقيد في غضون أجزاء من الثانية بطريقة لا شعورية. والنظام التعليمي يقتل الكثير من هذه الحدسية الفطرية ويسلح الإنسان بمعلومات تغبش عليه المعنى الحقيقي لما يتعلمه.

في الحركة، التنقل، النمو، البناء، والإحساس، هناك أمثلة للبرمجة الطبيعية التي خُلق بها الخل ...more

It’s an interesting book, b ...more

I was impressed enough to be interested in reading more from this author--Th ...more

On the other hand, I found some discussions to be a little unsatisfying. For example, t ...more

Also never thought of mathematical ability as being influenced by linguistic norms before. Remain sceptical on that one though. Aren't you either good at maths or at languages, but rarely both?

Mar 01, 2009
Houston
rated it
really liked it

Recommended to Houston by:
Todd Surrovell

Shelves:
my-library

I found this book interesting, although I do not agree with some of Devlin's claims. It is important to note that the common idea of practicing mathematics is not what he outlines (not the conscious application of mathematical skills)... instead it is the idea of 'innate' mathematics. Overall, the book was very fun to read, and it really does open one's eyes to the different ways mathematics can be applied to everyday life.

Aug 02, 2009
Elizabeth
rated it
it was amazing

Recommends it for:
Math enthusiasts

Recommended to Elizabeth by:
Dad

Shelves:
math-related

I truly enjoyed every aspect of this book. I loved the discussions about the different mathematical things animals and humans do everyday without even thinking about it. The part about street math was quite interesting.

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Dr. Keith Devlin is a co-founder and Executive Director of the university's H-STAR institute, a Consulting Professor in the Department of Mathematics, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He is a World Economic Forum Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His current research is focused on the use of differ
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