The Joy of x by Steven Strogatz
A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

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"Delightful . . . easily digestible chapters include plenty of helpful examples and illustrations. You'll never forget the Pythagorean theorem again!"—Scientific American

Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations.

Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum lifespan from it, explaining just how Google searches the internet, or determining how many people you should date before settling down, Strogatz shows how math connects to every aspect of life. Discussing pop culture, medicine, law, philosophy, art, and business, Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you’d had. Whether you aced integral calculus or aren’t sure what an integer is, you’ll find profound wisdom and persistent delight in The Joy of x.


About Steven Strogatz

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STEVEN STROGATZ is a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. A renowned teacher and one of the world's most highly cited mathematicians, he has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio's RadioLab. He is the author of Sync and The Calculus of Friendship, the story of his thirty-year correspondence with his high school math teacher.
Published October 2, 2012 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 333 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Humor & Entertainment, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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There, Strogatz includes a classic proof of why some infinite systems of numbers contain more numbers than other infinite systems, an idea that shocked 19th-century mathematicians as much as the concept of imaginary numbers (the square roots of negative numbers) shocked their peers a century earl...

Jul 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Joy of x: A Guided Tour o...

Publishers Weekly

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From addition and subtraction, with a glimpse into negative numbers and “the black art of borrowing,” it’s a quick step into the hardcore detective work of algebra’s search for the unknown x, with algorithms like the quadratic equation, “the Rodney Dangerfield of algebra” (“it donâ€...

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Joy of x: A Guided Tour o...

The Telegraph

Strogatz also has a gift for applying mathematical methods to unlikely subjects, such as why a misunderstanding of probability confused both legal teams during the trial of O J Simpson, why you should spend precisely 37 per cent of your single life playing the field and how the traged...

Jan 04 2013 | Read Full Review of The Joy of x: A Guided Tour o...

Science News

(Math offers good advice on dating, for instance, and understanding vectors was the key to TV, cell phones and Wi-Fi.) One slight quibble might be that the two chapters on statistics don’t cope directly with how they are used to draw conclusions from scientific and medical resear...

Oct 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Joy of x: A Guided Tour o...

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