How Not To Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life

Author(s): Jordan Ellenberg


The maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes Godel's theorem using only one-syllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport.


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Jordan Ellenberg is a Professor of Mathematics at University of Wisconsin, and the 'Do the Math' columnist at Slate. He has lectured around the world on his research in number theory, and delivered one of the plenary addresses at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, the largest math conference in the world. His novel The Grasshopper King was shortlisted for the NYPL Young Lions Award, and he writes regularly for the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post and Wired. A former two-time gold medalist at the International Mathematics Olympiad, Ellenberg learned algebra at the age of 8 and got a perfect score on his Math SATs (as a 12 year old).

General Fields

  • : 9781846146787
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Allen Lane
  • : June 2014
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : July 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 480
  • : Jordan Ellenberg
  • : Hardback
  • : 510