The need for error analysis is captured in the book's arresting cover shot - of the 1895 Paris train disaster. The early chapters teach elementary techniques of error propagation and statistical analysis to enable students to produce successful lab reports. Later chapters treat a number of more advanced mathematical topics, with many examples from mechanics and optics. End-of-chapter problems include many that call for use of calculators or computers, and numerous figures help readers visualise uncertainties using error bars.