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Big Ideas Reading Group

  • Kepler's Books 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA, 94025 United States (map)

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn't confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do--the whole world is shot through with it.

Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It's a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does "public opinion" really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

Earlier Event: September 8
Alexandra Bracken and Tamara Ireland Stone
Later Event: September 11
Non-Fiction Discussion Group