How can calculus help you survive the zombie apocalypse? Colin Adams, humor columnist for the Mathematical Intelligencer and one of today’s most outlandish and entertaining popular math writers, demonstrates how in this zombie adventure novel.
Zombies and Calculus is the account of Craig Williams, a math professor at a small liberal arts college in New England, who, in the middle of a calculus class, finds himself suddenly confronted by a late-arriving student whose hunger is not for knowledge. As the zombie virus spreads and civilization crumbles, Williams uses calculus to help his small band of survivors defeat the hordes of the undead. Along the way, readers learn how to avoid being eaten by taking advantage of the fact that zombies always point their tangent vector toward their target, and how to use exponential growth to determine the rate at which the virus is spreading. Williams also covers topics such as logistic growth, gravitational acceleration, predator-prey models, pursuit problems, the physics of combat, and more. With the aid of his story, you too can survive the zombie onslaught.
Featuring easy-to-use appendixes that explain the mathematics necessary to enjoy the book, Zombies and Calculus is suitable for recent converts to calculus as well as more advanced readers familiar with multivariable calculus.
Colin Adams is the Thomas T. Read Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. His books include The Knot Book, Riot at the Calc Exam and Other Mathematically Bent Stories, and How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide. He is the humor columnist for the Mathematical Intelligencer.
"Romance! Danger! Calculus! Zombies! Adams (How to Ace Calculus), professor of mathematics at Williams College and humor columnist for The Mathematical Intelligencer, takes readers on an apocalyptic and educational adventure that's also a Spielbergian sci-fi thriller. . . . Adams keeps the in-story math both appropriate and accessible, saving in-depth discussion for appendices at the end. Calculus fans looking for 'real-world' applications woven into a nail-biter of a story, chock-full of narrow escapes, betrayals, some plucky kids, the family dog, and even a romantic subplot, will delight in this fun, and funny pop-math book."--Publishers Weekly starred review
"The author didn't intend to write a classic horror novel, he intended to write one that explained the ideas of calculus and differential equations (particularly the latter) in a humorous and unusual setting. He has succeeded admirably. This is a book that can be enjoyed by both students and by faculty members seeking a way to spice up their lectures."--Mark Hunacek, MAA Reviews
"You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll use calculus! So much for kids who say, 'When am I ever going to use calculus?' When you're trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, that's when."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post
"A fun idea, quite well realized."--M.A.Orthofer, Complete Review
"The book well deserves attention from not squeamish math instructors and a wider audience of intelligent readers, curious of a new literary genre that mixes storytelling with gentle mathematical instruction."--Alexander Bogomolny, CTK Insights
Table of Contents:
CHAPTER 1 Hour 6 3
CHAPTER 2 Hour 7 19
CHAPTER 3 Hour 7 1/2 32
CHAPTER 4 Hour 7 3/4 48
CHAPTER 5 Hour 8 63
CHAPTER 6 Hour 9 80
CHAPTER 7 Hour 10 95
CHAPTER 8 Hour 18 111
CHAPTER 9 Hour 24 137
APPENDIX A Continuing the Conversations 155
APPENDIX B A Brief Review of Calculus as Explained to Connor by Ellie 191