Yofish's Reviews > The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

The Calculus Diaries by Jennifer Ouellette
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U 50x66
's review
Feb 13, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-math
Read in September, 2012

It's supposed to be a layman's guide to what you can use calculus for. It was frustrating to me how little math it had in it, though I'm clearly not the audience. (It also seemed just downright wrong in places.)

Actually goes further than I would have thought, with predator/prey models (in the form of Zombie Apocalypse, which would have been more interesting without reference to Pride&Prejudice&Zombies) and calculus of variations.

She has losing weight in the context of optimizing with constraints. Which almost makes sense, but ends up being not very mathematical. There's lots of stories about mathematicians, but I've heard many of them before (Archimedes running naked shouting "Eureka!", Newton avoiding the plague). Her day job seems to be as a blogger explaining physics to the layman, which she came to because she's an English major who married a physicist.

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