Discovering the Hidden Math All Around UsBook - 2014
Uses the examples of over fifty familiar experiences to reveal the hidden calculus behind an average day's events.
Princeton University Press
Calculus. For some of us, the word conjures up memories of ten-pound textbooks and visions of tedious abstract equations. And yet, in reality, calculus is fun, accessible, and surrounds us everywhere we go. In Everyday Calculus, Oscar Fernandez shows us how to see the math in our coffee, on the highway, and even in the night sky.
Fernandez uses our everyday experiences to skillfully reveal the hidden calculus behind a typical day's events. He guides us through how math naturally emerges from simple observations—how hot coffee cools down, for example—and in discussions of over fifty familiar events and activities. Fernandez demonstrates that calculus can be used to explore practically any aspect of our lives, including the most effective number of hours to sleep and the fastest route to get to work. He also shows that calculus can be both useful—determining which seat at the theater leads to the best viewing experience, for instance—and fascinating—exploring topics such as time travel and the age of the universe. Throughout, Fernandez presents straightforward concepts, and no prior mathematical knowledge is required. For advanced math fans, the mathematical derivations are included in the appendixes.
Whether you’re new to mathematics or already a curious math enthusiast, Everyday Calculus invites you to spend a day discovering the calculus all around you. The book will convince even die-hard skeptics to view this area of math in a whole new way.
A common complaint from most people about mathematics in general is that there is no applications for it in their everyday lives. Usually, such complaints begin with algebra and even geometry, and reach their crescendo with calculus--for 99% of the people, the highest level of mathematics they attain. Of course, they are entirely wrong: mathematics in general, and calculus in particular, are all around us, every day and everywhere, and one does not have to be a practicing engineer or physicist to find it useful. This short volume remedies the situation and should be required reading for most people. Using clear examples from our mundane daily activities, it uncovers their hidden (and not-so-hidden) relationships with those abstruse equations learned and last used by the majority in their AP maths high school classes of during their sophomore year in college. The book is grouped into chapters, each taking a key aspect of calculus and showing how it is expressed in our lives: functions and dreaming, limits and coffee, derivatives and rainy days, continuity and catching a cold, and many others. It is hoped that such an approach would both rekindle an interest in mathematics and science among people largely apathetic about these subjects and increase the sophistication of their mathematical reasoning--both laudable cultural goals. Useful, fun and thought-provoking, it reveals much to the uninitiated and is of interest even to those that do not need to be persuaded about calculus' usefulness. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Explains how people can apply the seemingly foreign ideas of calculus in helpful ways to their everyday lives.