Front cover image for Math with bad drawings : illuminating the ideas that shape our reality

Math with bad drawings : illuminating the ideas that shape our reality

Ben Orlin (Author)
"A hilarious reeducation in mathematics--full of joy, jokes, and stick figures--that sheds light on the countless practical and wonderful ways that math structures and shapes our world. In Math With Bad Drawings, Ben Orlin reveals to us what math actually is; its myriad uses, its strange symbols, and the wild leaps of logic and faith that define the usually impenetrable work of the mathematician. Truth and knowledge come in multiple forms: colorful drawings, encouraging jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that math should belong to everyone. Orlin shows us how to think like a mathematician by teaching us a brand-new game of tic-tac-toe, how to understand an economic crises by rolling a pair of dice, and the mathematical headache that ensues when attempting to build a spherical Death Star. Every discussion in the book is illustrated with Orlin's trademark "bad drawings," which convey his message and insights with perfect pitch and clarity. With 24 chapters covering topics from the electoral college to human genetics to the reasons not to trust statistics, Math with Bad Drawings is a life-changing book for the math-estranged and math-enamored alike"--Jacket
Print Book, English, 2018
First edition View all formats and editions
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York, 2018
Popular works
367 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
9780316509039, 0316509035
I. How to think like a mathematician. Ultimate tic-tac-toe ; What does math look like to students? ; What does math look like to mathematicians? ; How science and math see each other ; Good mathematician vs. great mathematician
II. Design: the geometry of stuff that works. We built this city on triangles ; Irrational paper ; The square-cube fables ; The game of dice ; An oral history of the Death Star
III. Probability: the mathematics of maybe. The 10 people you meet in line for the lottery ; Children of the coin ; What does probability mean in your profession? ; Weird insurance ; How to break the economy with a single pair of dice
IV. Statistics: the fine art of honest lying. Why not to trust statistics ; The last .400 hitter ; Barbarians at the gate of science ; The scoreboard wars ; The book shredders
V. On the cusp: the power of a step. The final speck of diamond dust ; Bracketology ; One state, two state, red state, blue state ; The chaos of history