Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

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Macmillan, Apr 1, 2011 - Mathematics - 144 pages
259 Reviews

Why do even well-educated people understand so little about mathematics? And what are the costs of our innumeracy? John Allen Paulos, in his celebrated bestseller first published in 1988, argues that our inability to deal rationally with very large numbers and the probabilities associated with them results in misinformed governmental policies, confused personal decisions, and an increased susceptibility to pseudoscience of all kinds. Innumeracy lets us know what we're missing, and how we can do something about it.

Sprinkling his discussion of numbers and probabilities with quirky stories and anecdotes, Paulos ranges freely over many aspects of modern life, from contested elections to sports stats, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims, sex discrimination, insurance, lotteries, and drug testing. Readers of Innumeracy will be rewarded with scores of astonishing facts, a fistful of powerful ideas, and, most important, a clearer, more quantitative way of looking at their world.


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Review: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

User Review  - Goodreads

This book was alright. It was interesting at parts, and a lot of it was pretty relevant to topics being discussed in classes I'm currently taking. However, at times it was too dry (hence why it took ... Read full review

Review: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

User Review  - JM - Goodreads

Quick, essential reading. While it hasn't completely killed my interest in coincidences, it tried valiantly to do so. The author's anger at the popularity of pseudosciences (astrology, mediums ... Read full review

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Title Page
Whence Innumeracy?
Statistics TradeOffs and Society

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About the author (2011)

John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University and the author of several other popular books on mathematics, is a regular contributor to national publications, including The New York Times and Newsweek. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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