download Reading Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (Penguin Press Science) By John Allen Paulos – Andy-palmer.co.uk

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (Penguin Press Science) The author goes through a large number of real world examples of applied mathematics, that I a retired engineer had thought were like breathing out, breathing in When I shared a couple of them with my adolescent grand children, I found some enthusiastic aha moments Huh Why Do Even Well Educated People Often Understand So Little About Maths Or Take A Perverse Pride In Not Being A Numbers Person In His Now Classic Book Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos Answers Questions Such As Why Is Following The Stock Market Exactly Like Flipping A Coin How Big Is A Trillion How Fast Does Human Hair Grow In Mph Can You Calculate The Chances That A Party Includes Two People Who Have The Same Birthday Paulos Shows Us That By Arming Yourself With Some Simple Maths, You Don T Have To Let Numbers Get The Better Of You. Innumeracy opens your mind and makes you question things you have heard on television and the news John Allen Paulos, who is fantastically witty, explains complex and simple misconceptions in a manner that almost anyone can understand Paulos writes takes you back into history with Julius Caesar and brings you back to the present with baseball figures and common mistakes in statistics It opens your mind to just what exactly numbers can do and how they revolve around almost every aspect in our lives Innumeracy makes you look at yourself and others around you and see how understanding numbers can help you improve in numerous ways Paulos applies mathematics to almost every aspect in life If you believe you are not a math person, then this is the book for you Using real life examples, Paulos makes you understand why math and numbers are so important Innumeracy shows how celebrities, presidents, and major politicians use numbers in the wrong way It is amazing what you will find out in this information packed book From statistics to probability to the multiplication principle, this book has it all and is written in such a way that makes even the most boring subject interesting to any reader Witty and to the point, Paulos writes a book that could change the way people think for the better and most likely improve our society as a whole If everyone read this book, it is amazing what the results would be He takes the most relevant and sometimes controversial subjects and applies them to math while pointing out how some things are not correct at all You will soon find yourself thinking twice about saying, I am not a math person or Math just isn t my subject. This is the book for people who want to go one step beyond HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS So many of us are bewitched by sloppy statistics, by flawed procedurals that wind up in the mass media and other lies, some benign, some not, that author Paulos felt this book was necessary He went on to write a couple according to the same themes. John Allen Paulos passionately explains in a personal essay the probabilistic nature of life He believes that too often people are innumerate and have many misconceptions about math He enumerates these fallacies in the preface Paulos, xii,xiv 1 Math is nothing than computation 2 Math is a completely hierarchical subject 3 Storytelling is not effective as an educational tool in mathematics 4 Mathematics is only for a few 5 Math numbs or limits our freedom.Since Paulos studied philosophy as an undergrad and mathematics in graduate school, he respectfully acknowledges the duality of the two disciplines Throughout the book he makes comparisons such as The romantics believe that a concern with numbers numbs us to the big questions of grandeur of sunsets and waterfalls Paulos, 179.Paulos provides real world examples of innumeracy in subjects like stock scams, choice of spouse, newspaper psychics, diet, medical claims, lottery, astrology, drug testing, insurance and law At times the reader must patiently muster through detailed proofs But, don t worry as Paulos promises there won t be a test Paulos, xiv Be patient, just rest and relax while reading Innumeracy then will you thoroughly enjoy it If you are among the innumerate then simply read through the math formulas without a concern for grasping the conceptual depth John Allen Paulos is flexing his numerate muscles giving Innumeracy greater strength.The author s aim is to make each of us less intimidated by the numbers He begins by familiarizing the reader with the basis of counting how many people are in the US how many people in the US are under 18, how many die each year how many cigarettes are smoked each year and how many words are there in a good sized novel Many of us believe incorrectly in the magic of coincidences However, there are no coincidences instead statistical probabilities For example in a room of 23 random people 2 or will have the same birthday Another example is the old adage everything comes in threes Paulos, 69 Again this is just statistical probability since if you wait long enough things will come in sets of three Another misconception is the why me attitude toward misfortunes Bad things happen periodically, the probability is that they re going to happen to somebody, why not you The tendency to attribute meaning to phenomena governed only by chance is ubiquitous Paulos, 114 The fruitful example the author uses to illustrate this concept is regression to the mean Regression to the mean is the tendency for an extreme value of random quantity followed by a value closer to the mean In this case he provides the example of very intelligent people who may have intelligent offspring, yet generally will be likely to be less intelligent than their parents.John Allen Paulos has an affinity to number ID over name as a means of identification since no two people can have the same ID number However, he is appalled by the use of an excessive number of digits In being numerate one would know that an identification number with 9 digits will have 109 one billion possible different numbers.Innumeracy covers relative risk, which is a significantly large issue for Public Health and the future of health care This interesting passage in the book proposes that a logarithmic safety index be used In this way we would be measuring the relative safety against the relative danger adding on the likelihood of the endeavor.Innumeracy is not a romantic beach read Its meager attempt to be sexy is the argument over the bell curve where the urge to average can be seductive Paulos, 169 The appeal of this book comes from the nature of the author s experience in having studied philosophy, literature and mathematics Paulos is a believer in the human condition, specifically the tendency to want it all Numeracy will help people understand that there are going to be trade offs A romantic at heart he adamantly opposes the view that mathematics is esoteric and those that study numbers are coldly rational The author s desire is to stimulate numeracy and enhance the appreciation of the probabilistic nature of life John Allen Paulos is a best selling author, public speaker, columnist for and Guardian and a professor of math at Temple He offers his web address and welcomes feedback

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