The Mathematics of Everyday Life



Two experienced math educators help the average reader discover not only the everyday usefulness of math but the fun that comes from mastering the basics of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and more. If you think of mathematics as a series of pointless classroom exercises without much relevance to real life, this book will change your mind. As the authors show, math is deeply embedded in almost every aspect of daily life--from managing your personal finances, making consumer purchases, and sharpening your computational skills, to learning to apply mathematical concepts that will give you a better grasp of both ordinary and extraordinary events and help you better appreciate the world we live in. With some basic geometry under your belt, you'll discover that there is an optimal point on a soccer field from which to shoot a goal. And you'll be more clever with the gears of a bike. If you like to play cards or go to the casino, knowing something about probability will give you an edge. You'll also have an enhanced understanding of the "whispering effect" inside the Capitol rotunda, why a car's headlights are so bright, and even why sewer covers are round. After reading this entertaining and instructive book, you'll come away with a whole new awareness of how elegantly mathematics explains everyday experiences and observations--from present day items to classical art and architecture.

Product Details

$25.00  $23.00
Prometheus Books
Publish Date
August 21, 2018
5.8 X 1.5 X 9.1 inches | 1.4 pounds
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About the Author

Alfred S. Posamentier has published over sixty books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including, most recently, The Joy of Mathematics (with with Robert Geretschlaeger, Charles Li, and Christian Spreitzer) and The Circle: A Mathematical Exploration beyond the Line (with Robert Geretschlaeger). After having been on the faculty of the City College of the City University of New York for forty years, where he was a professor of mathematics education and dean of the School of Education, he subsequently held the same positions at Mercy College, New York, for five years. He was also executive director for internationalization and sponsored programs at Long Island University, New York.

Christian Spreitzer is a coauthor of The Joy of Mathematics (with Alfred Posamentier, Robert Geretschlaeger, and Charles Li). He teaches mathematics and physics at the University College of Teacher Education in Lower Austria and at the University of Vienna. He was educated as a mathematician and a physicist and received his master's degree from the University of Vienna. He has published research articles in peer-reviewed journals on mathematics as well as mathematics education.


""A delightfully entertaining, instructive, and useful book--one that reminds us that mathematics can be both stimulating and extremely handy. From understanding designs in the natural world to the reason manhole covers are round; from probability in poker to the perplexing Monty Hall Problem; and from the geometry of the Spirograph to the geometrical aesthetics of Raphael, Da Vinci, and Albrecht Dürer, The Mathematics of Everyday Life unveils seeming mysteries while teaching us shortcuts to problem solving and how to see things from a new perspective--in sum, how to think logically and mathematically." --Scott Krawczyk, PhD, dean, Richard L. Conolly College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, LIU Brooklyn "Spectacular! Once again, Alfred S. Posamentier and Christian Spreitzer have reached into their rich reservoir of numerical knowledge to explain the beauty and eloquence of mathematics. They take us on a vigorous voyage, helping us to understand how math can help us solve problems of everyday life. Even those of us who are 'not good at math' will appreciate how important the basic principles they describe so well are to our daily experiences." --Allen I. Hyman, MD, FCCM, Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology, Columbia University in the City of New York "This book is fun! Even for those of us whose study of mathematics was some time ago, the examples and puzzles are easy to understand. We are offered really useful ways of using math in shopping (what is a genuine discount?), converting miles to kilometers (useful when traveling abroad), and completing a host of other everyday tasks. I particularly liked the authors' insistence that using our own 'built-in computer'--our brain--is more fun than using our phone or other devices for everyday calculations. I hope many people read the book and agree with that advice." --Baroness Pauline Perry, formerly Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education "Almost everything is math! That's what Posamentier and Spreitzer would like to reveal to us. Wherever you look--in paintings, sports, nature, shopping, or gambling--all of it works with math. Surprising, astonishing, entertaining...This new book tells you all about your unknown life with math. Whether or not you like math, you will like this book." --Gerhard Ackermann, PhD, professor and retired president, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin