O poder do pensamento matemático
Best-seller do The New York Times
Para muitos, a matemática que aprendemos na escola é algo totalmente abstrato, muito distante do mundo prático e real. O matemático Jordan Ellenberg mostra, porém, que a matemática está em todo lugar e se relaciona com questões do nosso cotidiano.
Com humor e irreverência
He actually states in the first few pages that the book isn't about doing math, but understanding and applying math. He tries to avoid complex computation since that's not his focus in the text.(less)
It's a topic I enjoy. I flicked through the book and the author was saying things that I agree with. Jordan clearly knows what he is talking about. All the signs were good.
So why the 3 stars? Because the book is unfortunately quite dull. There are long sections where Jordan spends ages proving some mathematical point or other, but then he doesn't draw any conclusions from it.
He starts with a story about school kids not liking mathematics because they can't see the r ...more
Ellenberg starts the book with a beautiful example of application of mathematics, logic, and thinking out of the box. During World War II, a group of mathematicians working for the Statistical Research Group were given a problem by s ...more
I should make on ...more
It brings the practicality and scientific conclusion on any topic whether it's about calculation for about judging a person. With probability and numbers, it makes us our life comfortable.
The author writes in a very engaging and conversational manner, and his enthusiasm for maths is quite contagious; I like how he manages to compellingly convey the message that math is a creative process, not a sterile, procedural slog.
While the book is designed to be understood by a wide audience, so it is neces ...more
That's this book.
Fortunately, the author has a funny, down-to-earth style that keeps me going even when my eyes glaze over and start to roll back into my head. That has nothing to do with him; it's all me. He and I have a fundamental difference in wiring: he loves numbers and the things they can do. For him they sing. For me, they are instruments of torment and deceit.
Let me give you an example. Here's one from page 44 et seq., where he dem ...more
Why is that so? Inevitably, this is a problem that arises from the way the subject has been taught. And this is what the book tries to dispel. This book takes us behind the numbers, equations, theories and abstruse concepts to show the practical applications of whatever we have been taught. Along the way, the history of these various ...more
Ellenberg does make some reasonable arguments; I particularly liked the explanations on the three way voting where the favoured guy can end up being eliminated purely because of the first past the post method, and the way that groups were able to exploit a badly designed lottery.
And most of the tim ...more
The very incredibly incredible math story from a math child prodigy (in his day), now a professor (a sensible one! a rara avis!). Fun and readable and readily comprehensible tale making math closer and WAY cooler!
“Mathematics is pretty much the same. You may not be aiming for a mathematically oriented career. That’s fine—most people aren’t. But you can still do math. You probably already are doing math, even if you don’t call it that. Math is w ...more
I like math. I want to be reminded of how cool it can be, and how relevant. But all the books like this, including this, that I've attempted to read have too much explication of the maths and not enough of what it actually means. For example, a chapter will start by explaining that c + a = a +c and just a paragraph later will expect us to know what a quadratic equation is, what it means, and how to solve it. What I'm saying ...more
It was very interesting to read this b ...more
I might expound further ...more
There are many things that I absolutely loved about the book. First, the discussion on how a Jewish mathematician Abraham Wald helped refine the strategy of placing armour on WW2 Planes with his counterintuitive yet eureka-esque approach. Second, analyses differ because of the way the math is involved i.e. linear vs. curve graph appr ...more
Both of those apply to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate math, that my mind draws blanks when it comes to anything relating to it. So why did I read this book? It was a book club selection that I wouldn't have picked up otherwise.
I respect what Eilenberg is trying to do, which is to make math more accessible. He succ ...more
Here are the five parts: Linearity, Inference, Expectation, Regression, and Existence.
Linearity, for example, includes and explains how even researchers screw up by treating data graphed as curves as straight lines… and more.
Among other things, Inference shows the significa ...more
But on top of that Ellenberg is a good synthesizer. You get lots of entertaining anecdotes but they are in service of a higher point. It may take a while to get there but feels worth the wait.
I also like that he tries to debunk the “cult of the genius” and its corollary “the tortured genius”. (Ellenberg probably isn’t a fan of A Beautiful Mind and he tweeted shade at The Queen’s Gambit)
We spend too much time on that lottery example and mostly on parts that are not related to math (why didn't the state stopped lottery? If it has nothing to do with differential equations or something like that why would we care?)
But the most noticeable problem is the one that you can find in many bad popular science books written in the US. Basically, it goes like this "Some math stuff or physics or whatever ...more
Most of what Ellenberg discussed I have already familiarized myself with, unfortunately, and yet his writing is still so charming that I do not want to put the book down. He stays true to his words, writing simple yet "profound" ideas and their applications, not an easy task as I have so often observed books s ...more
The gist of the book: It explains how math can be incorporated into the day-to-day activities of common man in a conscious way so that even in the midst of uncertainty one can at least have a principled approach to face it head-on. Ther ...more
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