Mathematics in Everyday Life

Front Cover
Springer, Jan 22, 2016 - Mathematics - 159 pages

How does mathematics impact everyday events? The purpose of this book is to show a range of examples where mathematics can be seen at work in everyday life.

From money (APR, mortgage repayments, personal finance), simple first and second order ODEs, sport and games (tennis, rugby, athletics, darts, tournament design, soccer, snooker), business (stock control, linear programming, check digits, promotion policies, investment), the social sciences (voting methods, Simpson’s Paradox, drug testing, measurements of inequality) to TV game shows and even gambling (lotteries, roulette, poker, horse racing), the mathematics behind commonplace events is explored. Fully worked examples illustrate the ideas discussed and each chapter ends with a collection of exercises.

Everyday Mathematics supports other first year modules by giving students extra practice in working with calculus, linear algebra, geometry, trigonometry and probability. Secondary/high school level mathematics is all that is required for students to understand the material. Those students whose degree course includes writing an extended mathematical essay will find many suitable topics here, with pointers to extend and develop the material.


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1 Money
2 Differential Equations
3 Sport and Games
4 Business Applications
5 Social Sciences
6 TV Game Shows
7 Gambling
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About the author (2016)

John Haigh set up the module “Mathematics In Everyday Life” at Sussex University in 2005, in response to a desire to show First Year students some of the areas where their mathematical skills and knowledge could provide useful insight, and to give them practice in applying the mathematics they were learning on other modules. This book has the benefit of feedback from several cohorts of students.

John has also written the well-received Popular Science book “Taking Chances” and, with Rob Eastaway, “The Hidden Mathematics of Sport”.

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