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Humble Pi : A Comedy of Maths Errors - Matt Parker

Humble Pi

A Comedy of Maths Errors

By: Matt Parker

Paperback | 5 March 2020 | Edition Number 1

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The first ever maths book to be a No.1 Bestseller shows us what happens when maths goes wrong in the real world.

What makes a bridge wobble when it's not meant to? How do billions of dollars mysteriously vanish into thin air? How does a building rock when its resonant frequency matches a gym class leaping to Snap's 1990 hit I've Got The Power? The answer is maths. Or, to be precise, what happens when maths goes wrong in the real world.

As Matt Parker shows us, our modern lives are built on maths: computer programmes, finance, engineering. And most of the time this maths works quietly behind the scenes, until ... it doesn't. Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near-misses and mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, the Roman empire and a hapless Olympic shooting team, Matt Parker shows us the bizarre ways maths trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. This book shows how, by making maths our friend, we can learn from its pitfalls. It also contains puzzles, challenges, geometric socks, jokes about binary code and three deliberate mistakes. Getting it wrong has never been more fun.

About the Author

Originally a maths teacher from Australia, Matt Parker now lives in Godalming in a house full of almost every retro video-game console ever made. He is fluent in binary and could write your name in a sequence of noughts and ones in seconds. He loves doing maths and stand-up, often simultaneously. When he's not working as the Public Engagement in Mathematics Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, he's performing in sold-out live comedy shows, spreading his love of maths via TV and radio, or converting photographs into Excel spreadsheets. He is the author of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension.
Industry Reviews
Matt Parker has pulled off something wonderful . . . his stories are superb. -- Marcus Berkmann * The Daily Mail *
Parker is consistently very funny . . . highly entertaining. * The Guardian *
Numbers to die for. Four stars. -- Simon Griffith * Mail on Sunday *
Bought it yesterday, enjoying it enormously, well done! -- Dara O Briain * Twitter *
I just finished the new book by irrepressible maths enthusiast @standupmaths, and it's GREAT! -- Adam Savage, ex-host of 'Mythbusters' * Twitter *
An entertaining and often alarming journey through the numerical blunders made over the years. * The Big Issue *
Very funny. . . a compendium of stories about mathematical failures; some are amusing, others alarming, as in the case of the passenger aircraft that ran out of fuel because it had been measured in the wrong units * Telegraph Books of the Year *
The surprise bestseller that makes maths fun * Sunday Times Magazine *
Fun, informative, and relentlessly entertaining, Humble Pi is a charming and very readable guide to some of humanity's all-time greatest miscalculations - that also gives you permission to feel a little better about some of your own mistakes -- Ryan North, author of How to Invent Everything

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