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Thinking Better

The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life

Marcus Du Sautoy Mark Elstob



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Basic Books
19 October 2021
One of the world's great mathematicians shows why math is the ultimate timesaverWe are often told that hard work is the key to success. But success isn't about hard work - it's about shortcuts. Shortcuts allow us to solve one problem quickly so that we can tackle an even bigger one. They make us capable of doing great things. And according to Marcus du Sautoy, math is the very art of the shortcut.

Thinking Better is a celebration of how math lets us do more with less. Du Sautoy explores how diagramming revolutionized therapy, why calculus is the greatest shortcut ever invented, whether you must really practice for ten thousand hours to become a concert violinist, and why shortcuts give us an advantage over even the most powerful AI. Throughout, we meet artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs who use mathematical shortcuts to change the world.

Delightful, illuminating, and above all practical, Thinking Better is for anyone who has wondered why you should waste time climbing the mountain when you could go around it much faster.
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Imprint:   Basic Books
Dimensions:   Height: 144mm,  Width: 148mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   236g
ISBN:   9781668601778
ISBN 10:   166860177X
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Audio
Publisher's Status:   Active

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford and the bestselling author of The Music of the Primes, Symmetry, and The Great Unknown. A trumpeter and member of an experimental theater group, he has written and presented over a dozen documentaries, including The Code and The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms. He also created the codes for Lauren Child's Ruby Redfort mysteries. He has received the Berwick Prize, the Zeeman Medal, and the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Prize, among other honors. Mark Elstob is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.

Reviews for Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life

A smart, well-written and entertaining guide to the connecting tunnels, underpasses and other tricks we can use to traverse the trials of everyday life. -- Roger Highfield, journalist and author of The Dance of Life Answers the age-old plaint 'When am I going to use this?' with a wide-ranging tour of the real uses of mathematically-flavored thinking, in domains from the stock market to psychotherapy to modern sculpture. -- Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times bestselling author Chock-full of thought-provoking examples, ranging from the mathematical to the sociological. -- Melissa Franklin, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard University Du Sautoy masterfully guides readers through complex math...All the while, he's encouraging about the importance of problem-solving: Math-minded readers will find much to consider. -- Publishers Weekly This is a 'greatest hits' of mathematical ideas presented with trademark clarity and energy. -- Financial Times (London) Oxford mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy pulls back the curtain to show how mathematicians think. -- David Schwartz, author of The Last Man Who Knew Everything

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