Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving (MIT Press)

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9780262514293: Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving (MIT Press)

An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.

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About the Author:

Sanjoy Mahajan studied mathematics at the University of Oxford and received a PhD in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is now Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory and a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Before coming to MIT, he was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a Lecturer in Physics in the University of Cambridge.

Review:

In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works--don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge--from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool--the general principle--from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems.Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

"Many everyday problems require quick, approximate answers. Street-Fighting Mathematics teaches a crucial skill that the traditional science curriculum fails to develop: how to obtain order of magnitude estimates for a broad variety of problems. This book will be invaluable to anyone wishing to become a better informed professional."--Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University

"All students and teachers of mathematics and science, whatever their level, will find a wealth of fun and practical tools in this fantastic book." David MacKay, Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change

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Descripción MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2010. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works -- don t just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge -- from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool -- the general principle -- from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems. Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780262514293

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Sanjoy Mahajan
Editorial: MIT Press Ltd, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 026251429X ISBN 13: 9780262514293
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Descripción MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2010. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works -- don t just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge -- from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool -- the general principle -- from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems. Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780262514293

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Descripción MIT Press 2010-04-09, 2010. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-BER-00043985

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