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Pluses and Minuses

How Maths Makes the World More Manageable

Stefan Buijsman

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Hardback

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
15 June 2020
What is the relationship between the number of films Nicolas Cage appears in and the number of deaths by drowning in swimming pools?

How in 1850s London did John Snow calculate the relationship between the city's water suppliers and the number of deaths from cholera?

Thousands of years ago the inhabitants of Mesopotamia became the first to use numbers. Since then, mathematics has been unstoppable. It's behind almost everything, from search-engines to cruise-control, from coffee-makers to timetables. But now that we hardly ever need to do arithmetic any longer, how relevant is mathematics to everyday life? PLUSES AND MINUSES demonstrates which role mathematics play in human endeavour. It begins with the mathematical skills we all possess from birth, to arrive at the many applications of mathematics today. It turns out that without knowledge of the ideas behind mathematical calculations we find ourselves sidelined.

Stefan Buijsman answers questions such as: What is life without numbers? Does mathematics add anything? What are mistakes in mathematics? Is it all mere chance? How can we get a grip on uncertainty? Can mathematics help us to treat cancer more effectively? Buijsman makes connections between philosophy, psychology and history, while explaining the wonderful world of mathematics for absolutely everyone.
By:   Stefan Buijsman
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   319g
ISBN:   9781474612470
ISBN 10:   1474612474
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   15 June 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Born in 1995, Stefan gained a master's degree in philosophy in Leiden at the age of eighteen, after which he moved from Sweden to work on a PhD. Within eighteen months (instead of the usual four years) he gained his doctorate, making him one of the youngest ever PhDs. He is currently studying the philosophy of mathematics as a post-doctoral researcher. Along with Govrien Oldenburger he is the author of a children's book The Kingdom of Sums (2018).

Reviews for Pluses and Minuses: How Maths Makes the World More Manageable

An illuminating history of mathematics that also touches on fascinating philosophical questions surrounding maths. * Publishers Weekly *


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