Matt Parker: Humble Pi

Turns out that pi s not as umble as one could imagine That many people actually did die as a result of many of the errors is tragic and definitely takes most of fun from the comedy The unfortunate book name aside it s a magnificent read into Goethean Science how maths go bump in everywhere Plaintiff s insistence that the commercial appears to be a serious offer reuires the Court to explain why the commercial is funny Explaining why a joke is funny is a daunting task cI went with my favourite method of comparing big numbers to time We know a million a billion and a trillion are different sizes but we often don t appreciate the staggering increases between them A million seconds from now is just shy of eleven days and fourteenours Not so bad I could wait that long It s within two weeks A billion seconds is over thirty one yearsA trillion seconds from now is after the year 33700CEThose surprising numbers actually make perfect sense after a moment s thought Million billion and trillion are each a thousand times bigger than each other A million seconds is roughly a third of a month so a billion seconds is on the order of 330 a third of a thousand months And if a billion is around thirty one years then of course a trillion is around 31000 years cEven after a lifetime of education dealing with small numbers there is a vestigial instinct that larger numbers are logarithmic that the gap between a trillion and a billion feels about the same as the jump between a million and a billion because both are a thousand times bigger In reality the jump to a trillion is much bigger the difference between living to your early thirties and a time when Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets! humankind may no longer exist cI believe that regardless of flight phase is official FAA speak for This could go down mid flight Their official line on airworthiness was the reuirement of repetitive maintenance tasks for electrical power deactivation That is to say anyone with a Boeing 787ad to remember to turn it off and on again A political committee is rarely a good solution to a mathematical problem cTo get everything back into alignment in the first place the year 46BCE Digital Crossroads had a possible world reco Knew I was going to love this book when I opened it and immediately saw the page numbers going the wrong wayIt is a lot of fun the whole way through Parker takes us through some ofis favourite or some of the noteworthy cases of maths going wrong across a variety of applications We re talking engineering and computing from bridges to spacecraft to calendars to ancient sumerian tablets His enthusiam shines brightly through and it s ard to not be infected by it His writing is infused with a dry wit and a good sprinkling of genuine laugh out loud umour which The Einstein Theory of Relativity hopefully would make this a fun read ever for those who aren t already invested in the maths storiesMy major criticism is that despite the clear over arching theme of maths problems the book still does not feel that cohesive Itas the feeling of a series of articles and just never uite manages to tie them all together or raise a greater point This ultimately doesn t matter too much though as it is still a very engaging and enjoyable read Definitely learnt a new thing or two I love maths I enjoy finding out about mathematical and statistical errors I was thinking some of my maths teacher friends might enjoy it and find it useful for illustrations in class Thats where the plot breaks down a littleI enjoyed the book but was a little disappointed that so much was taken from fields of computing and engineering where the issue wasn t strictly a mathematical failure but a failure for example to understand the limits of binary or load bearing or reson. The author explains ow the misuse of math creates problems Mathematical errors often include mistaking units pounds for kilograms feet for meters and misunderstanding probabilistic and statistical statements Parker also presents examples of use.

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Dexing But there was a waiting list for it at the library so I zoomed it back as soon as I finished it This is some of the most fun I ve ad reading in uite a while So seriously even if your knee jerk reaction is to recoil in orror from the thought of reading a math book try it anyway Summary not very interesting and it s not about maths errorsThis book is a collection of anecdotes that you can read anywhere most of them I ad read before and you can find them on the internet too They re bundled by theme Perfect Justice (Ben Kencaid, here which is convenient but the writer tries tooard to make them appear connected and often than not that results in uninspired paragraphs Here s an example from a random pageBut what The Literary Relationship of Lord Byron and Thomas Moore happens when computers try to divide by zero Unless they ve been explicitly told that they can t divide by zero they naively give it a go And the results can be terrifyingYou can almostear that in that slick documentary voice over style where everything spell Matt Parker Suggestions for Marketing Small Timber had me thoroughly enjoying this collection of situations where maths and numbers go wrong in everyday life I think the book s title is a little weak Humble Pi doesn t really convey what it s about but that subtitle a comedy of maths errors is far informativeWithis delightful conversational style New Exploration honed inis stand up maths shows it feels as if Parker is a friend down the pub relating the story of some technical disaster driven by maths and computing or regaling us with a numerical cock up These range from the spectacular wobbling and collapsing bridges for example to the small but beautifully formed such as Excel s rounding errorsSometimes it s Parker s little asides that are particularly attractive I loved The Shaping of Western Civilization his rant on why phone numbers aren t numbers at all would it be meaningful for someone to ask you whatalf your phone number is We discover the trials and tribulations of getting calendars right explore some of the oddities of probability enjoy a bit of impossible geometry and see ow getting units right or wrong can make all the difference Of course there are the big stories from NASA disasters to the risks of trying to crash onboard systems on planes mid flight But it s often those little details like the phone numbers that tickled me I loved for example Parker s attempts to get the footballs on UK signs geometrically correct totally misunderstood by the bureaucracy or when Parker points out the problems of graphics featuring multiple cogs interlocked with each other in a way that will lock them solid not to mention is combinatorial struggles with the McDonald s McChoice menuThe only thing I did find and this is the only reason the book doesn t get five stars is that the final couple of chapters seemed a little samey Rather than save the best to last Parker resorts to revisiting rather familiar feeling computer problems which are interesting but perhaps to me with a background in computing than many readers but by now not uite as original and fresh feelingHowever this is an excellent read managing to be light and meaty at the same time and The Ecology, Exploitation and Conservation of River Turtles highly recommended for anyone interested in maths business or computing A Christmas present book from a relative in recognition of my past technical careerEach chapter a nugget of information about some maths error thatas caused us problems in everyday life I put maths in inverted commas as many of the issues may be a poor engineering implementation of some analysis As each chapter is independent of others it s easy to dip in and out of the book when one fancies light relief from the serious business of reading fictionNot normally a book I d review on Medicine and Religion here I don t go for popular science of this type anecdotal. Putting date in decimal form leads to problems because the internal computations are actually done in binary Yet Parkeras a sly wit; so although all this sounds very serious in fact the writing style is breezy and in some parts extremely funny.

Ant freuency Many of the examples could easily The Hockey Saint (Forever Friends, have found themselves in books subtitled A Comedy of Engineering Errors or A Comedy of Programming ErrorsThe book is fine if you are looking for a book that showsow mathematics in its many practical applications goes wrong Having said that there are chapters that are mathsnumberstatistics oriented than others But not as many as I would Valentino have likedThe book is reasonably well written but a few too many asides to the reader for my liking This was one of the mostighly entertaining books I ve ever read Whitty and easily digestable I would recommend this to anyone remotely interested in math or engineering Lots of interesting anecdotes Sometimes the math and science explanations went over my ead uite funny Humble Pi takes us on a tour of the times when math engineering and programming ave gone wrong leading to disastrous or sometimes just funny results The book covers a range of mistakes including bridge failures space exploration disasters game show cheats financial algorithms gone rogue and so much I pretty much loved this book from start to finish I found it thoroughly fascinating and often Shunned hilarious Parkeras a great way with explaining technical subjects distilling it down to layman terms while retaining is umor Even on events I already know about Parker s explanations provided a new and interesting takeThe book is organized so that similar themes are grouped together into chapters but each incident is only a few pages long so it never feels bogged down or boring I found it best to read with the internet Oba, the Last Samurai handy so I could zip on and find out whenever it interested meIt s been a while since I ve been this riveted by a nonfiction book I was tearing through it chuckling to myself and stopping only to look up videos of Michael Larson on Press Your Luck and Galloping Gertie as it came down I m so glad Iappened across this book It totally spoke to the inner engineer nerd in me After all the only thing fascinating than Yonen Buzz, Volume 1 (Yonen Buzz, how something works is when it doesn t I really enjoyed this book I m one of those people who got labelled bad at math at a young age because I struggled with arithmetic and still do That resulted in my gettinganded a lot of books of math is fun type puzzles when I was a kid which were definitely much fun than math class I learned to differentiate math from arithmetic and stubbornly took math classes up through calculus which was fascinating but which I ve sadly never ad any occasion to put to use To make this long story short I recommend this book to people who think they ate math or who foundfind math difficult as well as technically inclined types who use math all the time The topics covered in this book are wide ranging and a lot of them are things you might not even think of as being mathematical putting a padlock on a door properly for instance or people with names that get ignored by computer code Matt Parker s voice is witty without ever talking down to The Wood Demon his audience He just really loves anything even tangentially mathematical and loves sharing it with everyone else And this book made me laugh out loud many times It s possibly all nerdumor but it was great There are three math errors in this book which I did not catch but also didn t look for very First Shapes hard So this bookas a math game in it Also it s numbered backwards which made it tricky to track my process through it Dispatches from Dystopia here since Goodreads won t let you update to Page 141 when you started on Page 316 There s also a trick to the index that I didn t figure out but the index is worth reading for itself as well I may reread this sometime and actually try to find the errors and solve the in. Rs of computer software not fully understanding the limitations of packaged programs The only topic that is somewhat technical and reuires a bit of effort to follow is Parker's explanation ofow the inexactitudes introduced by inputting and out.

Matt Parker is a former maths teacher who communicates about mathematics via YouTube videos stand up comedy and books