"We are all doing math all the time, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we travel, from how we work to how we relax. Many of us are aware of this. But few of us really appreciate the full power of math - the extent to which its influence is not only in every office and every home, but also in every courtroom and hospital ward. In this eye-opening and extraordinary book, Kit Yates explores the true stories of life-changing events in which the application - or misapplication - of mathematics has played a critical role: patients crippled by faulty genes and entrepreneurs bankrupted by faulty algorithms; innocent victims of miscarriages of justice and the unwitting victims of software glitches. We follow stories of investors who have lost fortunes and parents who have lost children, all because of mathematical misunderstandings. Along the way, Yates arms us with simple mathematical rules and tools that can help us make better decisions in our increasingly quantitative society"--
Physical Description:vii, 274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm print
"Originally published in Great Britain in 2019 by Quercus as The maths of life and death"--Title page verso.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-265) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction: almost everything -- Thinking exponentially: the sobering limits of power -- Sensitivity, specificity, and second opinions: how math makes medicine manageable -- The laws of mathematics: investigating the role of mathematics in the law -- Don't believe the truth: debunking media statistics -- Wrong place, wrong time: when our number systems let us down -- Relentless optimization: from evolution to e-commerce, life is an algorithm -- Susceptible, infective, removed: how to stop an epidemic -- Epilogue: mathematical emancipation.