Virtual Event: Marcus du Sautoy

presenting

Thinking Better:
The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life

in conversation with MELISSA FRANKLIN

Date

Nov
1
Monday
November 1, 2021
5:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome MARCUS DU SAUTOY—the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford—for a discussion of his latest book, Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life. He will be joined in conversation by MELISSA FRANKLIN, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. 

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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Thinking Better on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

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About Thinking Better

We are often told that hard work is the key to success. But success isn’t about hard work—it’s about shortcuts. Shortcuts allow us to solve one problem quickly so that we can tackle an even bigger one. They make us capable of doing great things. And according to Marcus du Sautoy, math is the very art of the shortcut.

Thinking Better is a celebration of how math lets us do more with less. Du Sautoy explores how diagramming revolutionized therapy, why calculus is the greatest shortcut ever invented, whether you must really practice for ten thousand hours to become a concert violinist, and why shortcuts give us an advantage over even the most powerful AI. Throughout, we meet artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs who use mathematical shortcuts to change the world.

Delightful, illuminating, and above all practical, Thinking Better is for anyone who has wondered why you should waste time climbing the mountain when you could go around it much faster.

Praise for Thinking Better

“In Thinking Better, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy pulls back the curtain to show how mathematicians think. The result is an engaging, delightful adventure through a variety of situations where mathematical thinking—in particular, the search for clever shortcuts—illuminates deeper mathematical truths. And it turns out these short cuts are incredibly useful for the rest of us too!” —David Schwartz, author of The Last Man Who Knew Everything

“If mathematics has proved anything, it is that shortcuts can change the world. Marcus du Sautoy has created a smart, well-written and entertaining guide to the connecting tunnels, underpasses and other tricks we can use to traverse the trials of everyday life.” —Roger Highfield, journalist and author of The Dance of Life

“Marcus du Sautoy compellingly answers the age-old plaint 'When am I going to use this?' with a wide-ranging tour of the real uses of mathematically-flavored thinking, in domains from the stock market to psychotherapy to modern sculpture." —Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times bestselling author of Shape

Marcus du Sautoy
Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has also published a play I is a Strange Loop which was performed at the Barbican in London in which he was also lead actor. He has presented numerous radio and TV series including a four part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations bringing science alive for the public from The Royal Opera House to the Glastonbury Festival. He received an OBE for services to science in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

Melissa Franklin
Melissa Franklin

Melissa Franklin

Melissa Franklin is an experimental particle physicist who studies proton-proton collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Professor Franklin, born and raised in Canada, received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and her Doctorate from Stanford University. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaigh, and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard, before joining the Harvard faculty in 1989.

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Harvard Science Book Talks

The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here

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