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Lawrence Potter studied Classics at Oxford and has since travelled to Central America, taught English in Romania and Maths in Rwanda. He now teaches Maths in London. He is also the author of Mathematics Without Fear.
This is definitely one of the best and most informative and useful non-fiction books I've read this year. It is a life raft for anyone who finds themselves floundering amidst a sea of ten-second soundbites, wishing they had a better grasp of complexities of world politics and global issues. Clear, concise language sets the record straight on a diverse range of topics as Lawrence Potter presents answers to fifty-seven questions about the world we live in, stretching from What is jihad? to is fair trade a good thing? and Is there still a war in Chechnya?
How can math help you bet on horses or win in Vegas? What's the foolproof way to solve Sudoku? How can probability teach you to calculate your chances of survival in Russian roulette? In this irreverent and entertaining guide to mathematics, Lawrence Potter takes the fear out of everything from long division to percentages. Using fascinating puzzles and surprising examples, from M.C. Escher to Pascal, he shows us how math is connected with the world we encounter every day, from how to calculate a tip to why weather forecasts are wrong, from winning at Monopoly to improving your mental arithmetic. Along the way you'll also discover who invented numbers, whether animals can count, and what nuns have to do with multiplication.
Forget your classroom nightmares and discover how numbers can enhance and illuminate your world!How can math help you bet on horses or win in Vegas?What's the foolproof way to solve Sudoku? How can probabilityteach you to calculate your chances of survival inRussian roulette?In this irreverent and entertaining guide to mathematics,Lawrence Potter takes the fear out of everything from longdivision to percentages. Using fascinating puzzles and surprisingexamples, he shows us how math is connected withthe world we encounter every day, from how the VAT works towhy weather forecasts are wrong, from winning at Monopolyto improving your mental arithmetic. Along the way you'llalso discover who invented numbers, whether animals cancount, and what nuns have to do with multiplication.
'If you follow this eloquently written book you will be equipped to cope with all manner of challenges, such as splitting a restaurant bill, filling in a tax return, or understanding the compound interest on your bank statement. You will also be able to calculate your chances of survival when playing Russian roulette, win at Perudo and pronounce '324' in Tibetan ('Gsum-bryga gnyis-bcu rtsa bzhi')... Plus there is a section on how the ancient Egyptians wrestled with equations; a 13-page appendix on how to solve Sudoku and a chapter on the Law of Large Numbers which offers useful tips on backing the right horses.' Daily Telegraph In this irreverent guide to classroom horrors such as algebra, percentages and probability, maths teacher Lawrence Potter sheds light on the dark mysteries that have haunted you since your childhood. Full of fascinating examples and surprising puzzles, Mathematics Minus Fear demonstrates that maths is not an isolated realm of abstract thought but has fascinating connections with the world we encounter on a daily basis.