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.
Oscar E. Fernandez is assistant professor of mathematics at Wellesley College.
"For every befuddled math student who's ever sat in class and thought, 'When am I ever going to use this?' Fernandez, assistant professor of mathematics at Wellesley College, gleefully reveals the truth: the world really does run on math. . . . Whether describing how biology uses math to design more efficient organs and body structures or the best way to figure out when to overhaul a subway car, Fernandez keeps the tone light, as entertaining as it is informative. The book will speak most strongly to readers with some experience in trigonometry and basic calculus, but it's also accessible to those willing to put in a little extra effort. Either way, Fernandez's witty, delightful approach makes for a winning introduction to the wonderland of math behind the scenes of everyday life."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Everyday Calculus tracks a day in the life of mathematician Oscar Fernandez, from his morning cup of joe to his night out at the theater, and lets us see the world the way he does: written in equations, the language of nature. He gently guides the reader through the basics of derivatives and integrals, revealing the hidden connections lurking just beneath the surface of our daily lives."--Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries
"Calculus has played an essential role in the development of engineering, medicine, physics, chemistry, geology, statistics, and a variety of other areas. But where is it in our everyday lives? In this beautiful book, Oscar Fernandez answers that question by noting all of the ways that calculus appears in the world around us, from the coffee cooling on the counter to the rain drops hitting an umbrella. You will never look at daily life in quite the same way again."--Colin Adams, coauthor of How to Ace Calculus
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