Most of the time, the maths in our everyday lives works quietly behind the scenes. Until someone forgets to carry a ‘1’ And a bridge collapses, a plane drops out of the sky or a building rocks when its resonant frequency matches a gym Class leaping to snap’s 1990 hit I’ve got the power. This book is all about what happens when Maths goes wrong in the real world. Exploring and explaining a litany of near-misses and mishaps involving the Internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries and the Roman Empire, Matt Parker shows us the bizarre ways Maths trips us all up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. Mathematics doesn’t have good ‘people skills’, but we would all be better off, he argues, if we saw it as a practical ally. By making Maths our friend, we can use it to our advantage and learn from its pitfalls.
Matt Parker has pulled off something wonderful . . . his stories are superb. — Marcus Berkmann ― The Daily Mail
Parker is consistently very funny . . . highly entertaining. ― The Guardian
Numbers to die for. Four stars. — Simon Griffith ― Mail on Sunday
Bought it yesterday, enjoying it enormously, well done! — Dara Ó Briain ― Twitter
I just finished the new book by irrepressible maths enthusiast @standupmaths, and it’s GREAT! — Adam Savage, ex-host of ‘Mythbusters’ ― Twitter
An entertaining and often alarming journey through the numerical blunders made over the years. ― The Big Issue
“[Matt Parker] shows off math at its most playful and multifarious” –Jordan Ellenberg, author of “How to Not Be Wrong ― Jordan Ellenberg
Matt Parker is some sort of unholy fusion of a prankster, wizard and brilliant nerd–maths is rarely this clever, funny and ever so slightly naughty. ― Adam Rutherford, author of “Creation”
About the Author
Originally a maths teacher from Australia, Matt Parker now lives in Godalming in a house full of almost every retro video-game console ever made. He is fluent in binary and could write your name in a sequence of noughts and ones in seconds. He loves doing maths and stand-up, often simultaneously. When he’s not working as the Public Engagement in Mathematics Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, he’s performing in sold-out live comedy shows, spreading his love of maths via TV and radio, or converting photographs into Excel spreadsheets. He is the author of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension.