Forget your classroom nightmares and discover how numbers can enhance and illuminate your world!
How can math help you bet on horses or win in Vegas? What’s the foolproof way to solve Sudoku? How can probability teach you to calculate your chances of survival in Russian roulette?
In this irreverent and entertaining guide to mathematics, Lawrence Potter takes the fear out of everything from long division to percentages. Using fascinating puzzles and surprising examples, from M.C. Escher to Pascal, he shows us how math is connected with the world we encounter every day, from how the VAT works to why weather forecasts are wrong, from winning at Monopoly to improving your mental arithmetic. Along the way you’ll also discover who invented numbers, whether animals can count, and what nuns have to do with multiplication.
Lawrence Potter attended Oxford University and graduated with a degree in classics before becoming an adventurous mathematics teacher in Romania and Rwanda. He is the author of This May Help You Understand the World and lives in London.
"Potter’s constructive guide offers enlightenment and hope."
– Publishers Weekly
"Does for numbers what Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation."
– The Times Educational Supplement
"If you follow this eloquently written book you will be equipped to cope with all manner of challenges, such as splitting a restaurant bill, filling in a tax return, or understanding the compound interest on your bank statement."