This book provides a fun, hands-on approach to learning how mathematics and computing relate to the world around us and help us to better understand it. How can reposting on Twitter kill a movie’s opening weekend? How can you use mathematics to find your celebrity look-alike? What is Homer Simpson’s method for disproving Fermat’s Last Theorem? Each topic in this refreshingly inviting book illustrates a famous mathematical algorithm or result--such as Google’s PageRank and the traveling salesman problem--and the applications grow more challenging as you progress through the chapters. But don’t worry, helpful solutions are provided each step of the way.
Math Bytes shows you how to do calculus using a bag of chocolate chips, and how to prove the Euler characteristic simply by doodling. Generously illustrated in color throughout, this lively and entertaining book also explains how to create fractal landscapes with a roll of the dice, pick a competitive bracket for March Madness, decipher the math that makes it possible to resize a computer font or launch an Angry Bird--and much, much more. All of the applications are presented in an accessible and engaging way, enabling beginners and advanced readers alike to learn and explore at their own pace--a bit and a byte at a time.
Tim Chartier is associate professor of mathematics at Davidson College. He is the coauthor of Numerical Methods (Princeton).
"The author's humanistic, sincere enjoyment of communicating his selections permeates and I think defines the book. . . . The choice of topics and exposition details make the book entertainingly relevant."--Alexander Bogomolny, Cut the Knot
"Math Bytes is fun and full of puzzles and brainteasers in a mashup of mathematics, social media, and pop culture referencing Beyoncé, Google, and Twitter among others. . . . This reviewer is simply a fool for math puzzles (though some readers might stop at simply a fool). Math Bytes scratches that itch quite nicely."--Robert Schaefer, New York Journal of Books
"Printed on glossy paper and filled with colourful photographs, illustrations and diagrams on nearly every page, this book discusses mathematical ideas that can help us make sense of the digital world. The author's offbeat viewpoint comes from a truly unusual background; he studied mime with the legendary Marcel Marceau whilst pursuing his doctorate in applied maths."--Devorah Bennu, GrrlScientist, The Guardian
"Tim Chartier, a professor of mathematics at Davidson College, has put together a delightful book of recreational mathematics. His presentation of a large array of topics is accompanied by excellent graphics, many in color. . . . In sum, a fun book."--Philip J. Davis, SIAM News
"The mathematical topics are interesting and informative; if you teach at the college level, you are likely to find some interesting fodder for your courses here. You also may, as I did, learn some new things yourself. . . . This book, which is filled with photos, drawings, and anecdotes, is a treasure trove of amusing mathematical vignettes. It makes for very pleasant summer reading."--Mark Hunacek, MAA Reviews
Table of Contents:
1 Your First Byte 1
2 Deceiving Arithmetic 5
3 Two by Two 11
4 Infinite Detail 21
5 Plot the Course 32
6 Doodling into a Labyrinth 42
7 Obama-cize Yourself 54
8 Painting with M&Ms 61
9 Distorting Reality 73
10 A Pretty Mathematical Face 86
11 March MATHness 98
12 Ranking a Googol of Bits 105
13 A Byte to Go 124
14 Up to the Challenge 125
Image Credits 135