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Nderstood why I needed to do the proof of euations in math classes Now as a professional I am doing a ob which forces me to work in math a lot Slowly seeing the magic of math everywhere from pharmaceutical to work in math a lot slowly seeing the magic of math everywhere Slowly seeing the magic of math everywhere pharmaceutical to production from sales to oil and gas and see the value math brings I started to appreciate it a lot This will be a book I want to send as a gift to my kids and my nephews to get them see the power of math in everyday life from when they are lit I have been a lifelong reader I love learning and this book was right in my lane enjoyed the new exposures The Maths of Life and Death written by Kit Yates who is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and co director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath aims to show that maths is for everyone and that mathematics is first and foremost a practical tool to make sense of our complex world This is a mission that I m definitely on board with I m convinced that maths is the worst taught of all school subjects in England due to the failure of central government policies to attract and reward good teachers leaving a lot of people with the idea that maths isn t for them It s frustrating to see people who are otherwise really smart refusing to even engage with an argument if it contains numbers or anything else sciency Yates s book on the whole definitely does a good ob of explaining some basic mathematical concepts simply and clearly and showing how they are relevant in the real world The book is almost entirely focused on statistics and the one chapter that strays into the realm of pure mathematics on algorithms will probably be less accessible for the average reader However having a solid understanding of some basic concepts in statistics is both vital and possible for everyone and so I think this focus works wellI have to say that most of the examples used in The Maths of Life and Death were already familiar to me which is probably the result of my amateur enthusiasm for statistics rather than any undue repetition on Yates s part although there is a certain amount of crossover with Ben Goldacre s Bad Science Because I m interested in medicine I was already familiar with the material on medical statistics covered in chapter two and with much of the epidemiological information in chapter seven this of course is not Yates s fault but because this chapter focuses on controlling global pandemics it makes for a rather chilling read in the wake of Covid 19 Chapter three on the law retells the story of the infamous Sally Clark case where statistics were used to prove that the chances of experiencing two stillbirths in the same family were 1 in 73 million and so Clark must have murdered her two children as Yates shows this figure could only have been arrived at through multiple statistical errors And I already knew about the birthday problem in chapter four which shows that in any school class it s likely than not that two children share the same birthday although I loved hearing the story of how Yates used this fact to pitch his literary agent Chris Wellbelove while they were having drinks in a pubI bet him the next round of drinks that I would be able to find

#two people in #
people in relatively uiet pub who shared a birthday After a uick scan of the room he readily took me on and indeed offered to buy the next two rounds if I could find such a pair so unlikely did he think the prospect of a match Twenty minutes and a lot of baffled looks and superficial explanations later I had found my pair of birthday sharers and the drinks were on ChrisYates s prose is clear and straightforward which is absolutely necessary for a book of this type Occasionally when he is trying to write about the bigger implications of statistics it becomes a bit banal but this isn t the case most of the time I also liked that he explained his calculations both in the text and through the use of diagrams I found the text easier to follow but others would probably prefer the diagrams so this works for everyone All in all I d recommend this book as an accessible and important introduction to understanding the use and abuse of statistics 35 starsI would like to thank uercus for sending me a free copy of this book to revie. Ver DNA testing medical screening results and historical events such as the Chernobyl disaster and the Amanda Knox trial Readers will finish this book with an enlightened perspective on the news the law medicine and history and will be better euipped to make personal decisions and solve problems with math in mind whether it’s choosing the shortest checkout line at the grocery store or halting the spread of a deadly disea. Needs an understanding of math An algal bloom doubles in size every day until it covers a lake in 30 days If you see the lake is half covered how long do you think it will take for it to be covered completely Most would calculate numerous days based on when the algae first appeared and had reached the halfway point but the correct answer is one day Mistakes like this lead planes to crash which Yates also shows in painful detailDoctors are forever misinterpreting test results giving patients false death sentences or false reassurances Yates Yates also shows in painful detailDoctors are forever misinterpreting test results giving patients false death sentences or false reassurances Yates the example of breast cancer tests by which doctors seem to predict nine out of every two cases of breast cancer in women The numbers are pretty stark With false positives from tests 981 women out of a random 10000 will be told that they have breast cancer But of those only 90 will actually have it Ninety out of ten thousand ie nine per thousand is not the pandemic plague that should cause panicked fear in women but that s how doctors present it when they are surveyed Given multiple choice uestions doctors fare far worse than if they had chosen random answers They are prejudiced in the false direction They have the facts and the numbers wrong The result is needless surgery needless chemotherapy and much pointless sufferingThere is a horrifying chapter on legal ignorance as well So called expert witnesses bamboozle udges This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life juries and opposing lawyers with mumboumbo that no one challenges because they don t understand what was said They ust pick out a major conclusion from what they heard and accept it as true and significant The result is wrongful convictions In the major case cited a young mother went to prison for murdering her first two children because an expert incorrectly claimed the chances of two children from the same family dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS was claimed the chances of two children from the same family dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS was in 73 million He made up the number himself That s all the ury needed to know It didn t matter that the expert was wrong about the odds or even that the children didn t really die of SIDS The number was so overwhelming the decision was easy to make she had to be guilty as charged In upholding the conviction the appeals court said no one would be fooled by such a wild claimThis is the same principle that guides media claims and why so few trust the media any Shopping for statistics and angles reporters hone in on some startling number and taking it out of context draw conclusions that it doesn t merit or maybe worse ust leaving it there to fester in the imagination of people with no other facts to weigh Absent those facts the population divides into believers and non believers ever extreme in their positions It is no wonder that a Boris Johnson can lie about the massive amounts of cash sent to the European Union and even when the lie is pointed out it continues to be the foundation for leaving the union The result has been utter chaos in a farcical government So while it s critical to have the numbers behind the claims few do Worse fewer can master them and a select group will manipulate them to their own advantageYates also tackles algorithms epidemics and antivaxxers The antivaxxers rely on a single tiny invalid and misinterpreted study by a since defrocked doctor where he claimed to show that vaccinations cause autism They don t as Yates relates clearly and concisely Nonetheless the news traveled from Britain the USA where it has become the news traveled from Britain the USA where it has become to millions who have no need of the facts They accept the headline as all they need to know The result is a resurgence of diseases long thought banished with thousands suffering needlessly Perversely parents even mail licked lollipops to each other so children can be infected They believe the false headline and are ignorant of the death and disfiguration rates from these so called rites of passage diseases It is craziness suared because the numbers were cooked and won out over the factsThe Math of Life and Death is an endlessly diverting pleasing engaging and horrifying look at how lives are affected by the math It is math in very human terms and Yates excels at making it plain And you don t even have to do the math to see itDavid Wineberg I was never very good at math growing up in China where I never fully Tes hidden principles that can help us understand and navigate the chaotic and often opaue surfaces of our world In The Math of Life and Death Yates takes us on a fascinating tour of everyday situations and grand scale applications of mathematical concepts including exponential growth and decay optimization statistics and probability and number systems Along the way he reveals the mathematical undersides of controversies This is a fantastic book on Mathematics but is a little bit advanced for novices It covers a lot of topics all of which amaze one when the maths behind them is revealed Of particular interest is the last chapter which deals with the modeling of pandemics this book was written before covid 19 became a thing Highly recommended by me FWIW No Formulas Just Numb3rs In this book about how math shapes our lives British math professor Yates doesn t take us into the algebra geometry and even trigonometry that we all use daily whether we realize it or not Instead he takes an approach similar to the now decade old US television show Numb3rs starring David Krumholtz and Rob Morrow wherein he shows applications of higher level mathematics in fields such as epidemiology medicine law ournalism elections and several others Yates cites real world examples including unjust convictions and Ebola outbreaks and many others to show how math was used incorrectly and what the math actually showed in that situation to help the reader begin to get an overall sense of math without getting bogged down in the technical calculations Truly an excellent book for even the arithmophobic among us as it shows the numbers all around us and explains how we can have a better sense of themDisclaimers 1 I LOVED Numb3rs back in the day and would still be watching it if it were still on the air 2 I have a computer science degree and very nearly got secondary mathematics education and mathematics bachelors degrees at the same time as my CS one so obviously I m a bit attuned to math than others A lot of familiar mathematical ideas but told engagingly and with plenty of wit I especially enjoyed the final chapter on epidemiology although I d have liked a bit mathematical detail even in the form of diagrams rather than euations If you re into stuff like this you can read the full reviewNumeracy The Math of Life and Death 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives by Kit YatesMany maths disciplines are extremely useful Trigonometry algebra Euclidian geometry others are all useful should be used in general life eg when building something Additionally as mentioned in the article being able to understand calculate compound interest is useful for ust about everyone Another example calculating if discount percentages are genuine or not However approximately 85 percent of automated warnings in ICUs are false alarmsIf you re at all fascinated with numbers you will love this book There are no actual formulas in this book instead what it shows you is how math is a part of every aspect of our lives from medicin As a math nerd I am always looking for books that provide insight into the use of mathematics in our lives I skimmed through this book and found some interesting tidbits on disease exponents and statistics The examples and stories include a lot of visuals which helps but there is a lot of detail here than I personally needed since I was reading this book for fun My problem with books on mathematics is never remembering the formulas even from one chapter to the next OK and being bored with them is a factor too Kit Yates solved these problems by not using any formulas or even much math in his delightful when not frightening The Math of Life and Death His secret is really simple he tells stories The result is always engaging often infuriating and sometimes horrifying We defy the math at our perilUsing examples from the news such as epidemics or murder investigations Yates shows what underlies the events the basic numbers that anyone can see do or "do not add upthe whole strength of the "not add upThe whole strength of The of Life and Death is the power of true events Yates recognizes their value and provides the background facts that fit with numbers that prove a point In the hot new service of gene seuencing he shows clearly how our assumption about identifying people by DNA samples can go wrong badly enough to incarcerate the wrong person In his own case 23andMe gave him a death samples can go wrong badly enough to incarcerate the wrong person In his own case 23andMe gave him a death through a wrong interpretation of his genes He proved it to his great relief with other such services and went back to show ust how the numbers can lead analysis astray Sloppy math is hard to prove but can ruin livesHe shows that something as unmathematical as algae. From birthdays to birth rates to how we perceive the passing of time mathematical patterns shape our lives But for those of us who left math behind in high school the numbers and figures hurled at us as we go about our days can sometimes leave us scratching our heads and feeling as if we’re fumbling through a mathematical minefield In this eye opening and extraordinarily accessible book mathemati­cian Kit Yates illumina.

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The Math of Life and Death 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives