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
“If you’re dying to read a novel treatment of calculus, then you should run (don’t walk!) to buy Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams. You’ll see calculus come alive in a way that could save your life someday.”—Arthur Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College
"Before Zombies and Calculus, math was quick to kill my appetite. In fact, math damn near killed me altogether throughout most of college (it is of course a cliché to say that as a math student I was pretty much a zombie). If I had only had this book then . . . at least now I can stomach derivatives as well as a zombie outbreak. That’s no small accomplishment! Read Zombies and Calculus--you’ll laugh . . . you’ll cry . . . you’ll multiply."--Steven C. Schlozman, M.D., author of The Zombie Autopsies
“Using a fictional, tongue-in-cheek account of an outbreak of a zombie virus at a small liberal arts college, Adams discusses mathematical subjects such as the spread of a disease in a population, differential equations, and tangent vectors. He succeeds in conveying the idea that calculus is useful in numerous aspects of life—including surviving a zombie apocalypse. The book is one of a kind.”—Joel Hass, University of California, Davis
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