July 8, 2007

Math and News and BAFAB

Karen over at Verbatim gave me a pleasant surprise this week. She bought me a book from my wishlist as part of “BAFAB - Buy A Friend A Book” Hooray, I’m getting to read John Allen Paulos’ insightful applications of mathematics to different types of stories you encounter in the news. It was written a decade or so ago, but it is still quite relevant and interesting, because the math is still the same and the issues you encounter still fall into many of the same categories.

An unexpectedly interesting aspect of the book is the inclusion of peripheral references to events of the 90’s… and to a different Iraq war. It’s a trip down memory lane from a time I wasn’t paying quite as much attention to politics.

The book is broken into very short chapters that quickly cover a mathematical concept and its application to making sense of the news. Sometimes it is critical of news reporting, sometimes it simply gives you a tool for understanding why the news is reported a certain way, why we understand news the way we do, or how to approach the news differently.

It’s an easy book to pick up, as Paulos’ writing style is very conversational for the subject matter and the bite-sized chapters are like eating potato chips. That makes it hard t put down. Perfect for a few minutes before work during breakfast and before you read the day’s news!

Thanks again, Karen.

Posted by James at July 8, 2007 7:01 PM
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My pleasure! :-)

You can all join in on the quarterly BAFAB fun:

Posted by: Karen at July 8, 2007 7:44 PM

D'oh! Thanks for the link!

Posted by: James at July 8, 2007 7:53 PM

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