Cover image for Math with bad drawings : illuminating the ideas that shape our reality / Ben Orlin.
Title:
Math with bad drawings : illuminating the ideas that shape our reality / Ben Orlin.
Author:
ISBN:
9780316509039
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2018.
Physical Description:
367 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents:
Introduction -- 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.
Abstract:
The creator of the "Math With Bad Drawings" blog explains how math works in everyday life and how it can be better understood, using lighthearted cartoon illustrations, jokes, and anecdotes that demystify essential concepts.

"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"--Dust jacket.
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Ben Orlin is the author of the blog Math With Bad Drawings. He also writes on topics related to math for The Atlantic, Slate, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune . He began his teaching career in Oakland, California, and later taught at King Edward's School in Birmingham, England. He lives with his wife, a mathematician, in Northampton, Massachusetts.
https://mathwithbaddrawings.com @benorlin


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
How To Think Like A Mathematician
1 Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toep. 7
2 What Does Math Look Like to Students?p. 20
3 What Does Math Look Like to Mathematicians?p. 22
4 How Science and Math See Each Otherp. 30
5 Good Mathematician vs. Great Mathematicianp. 38
II Design: The Geometry Of Stuff That Works
6 We Built This City on Trianglesp. 52
7 Irrational Paperp. 65
8 The Square-Cube Fablesp. 73
9 The Game of Dicep. 89
10 An Oral History of the Death Starp. 105
III Probability: The Mathematics Of Maybe
11 The 10 People You Meet in Line for the Lotteryp. 123
12 Children of the Coinp. 141
13 What Does Probability Mean in Your Profession?p. 151
14 Weird Insurancep. 158
15 How to Break the Economy with a Single Pair of Dicep. 178
IV Statistics: The Fine Art of Honest Lying
16 Why Not to Trust Statisticsp. 199
17 The Last .400 Hitterp. 218
18 Barbarians at the Gate of Sciencep. 231
19 The Scoreboard Warsp. 249
20 The Book Shreddersp. 267
V On The CUSP: The Power of a Step
21 The Final Speck of Diamond Dustp. 286
22 Bracketologyp. 299
23 One State, Two State, Red State, Blue Statep. 314
24 The Chaos of Historyp. 329
Endnotesp. 346
Acknowledgmentsp. 368