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As if they were comedy-club stand-ups, Burger and Starbird employ puns and silly scenarios to tickle those who wouldn't ordinarily pick up a math book. Everyone, however fearful of the topic, uses math in daily life. Two popular fixations with numbers that the authors home in on include the amazing similarities between John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln and playing the lottery. Describing the easy math beneath superficially wondrous things, often no more complicated than enumeration and arithmetic, Burger and Starbird dispel the astounding to reveal what a little logical rigor can do, and they use their schtick to keep things light. Avoiding alarming announcements, they never charge headlong into a topic such as the Golden Ratio, but circumscribe it by counting swirls on pineapples and noting the ratio's frequent appearance in nature and in art. Likewise, Burger and Starbird don't bludgeon readers with number theory, geometry, or topology; they take up origami or spin a yarn about a tsetse fly. A profusely illustrated, bemusingly unorthodox introduction to math.Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10:  0393329313
ISBN-13:  978-0393329315
Author:  Edward B. Burger
Publisher:  W. W. Norton & Company
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review by . August 20, 2010
What a wonderful motto for learning! To understand deep things simply, investigate simple things deeply. In "Coincidences, Chaos and All That Math Jazz", Burger and Starbird take that motto to heart and bless their readers with an entertaining, irreverent, always amusing yet eminently readable and completely understandable exploration of some of the frontiers of mathematics.      In the opening chapters, real-life numbers - the roulette wheel, nature vs nurture studies …
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