Virtual Event: Matt Parker
When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World
February 4, 2021
5:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome MATT PARKER—host of the Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science and author of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension—for the paperback release of his latest, bestselling book, Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World.
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About Humble Pi
Our whole world is built on math, from the code running a website to the equations enabling the design of skyscrapers and bridges. Most of the time this math works quietly behind the scenes. . . until it doesn’t. All sorts of seemingly innocuous mathematical mistakes can have significant consequences.
Humble Pi is the book-length answer to anyone who ever put their hand up in math class and asked, “When am I ever going to use this in the real world?” Math is easy to ignore until a misplaced decimal point upends the stock market, a unit conversion error causes a plane to crash, or someone divides by zero and stalls a battleship in the middle of the ocean.
Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near misses, and mathematical mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, the Roman Empire, and an Olympic team, Matt Parker uncovers the bizarre ways math trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. Getting it wrong has never been more fun.
Praise for Humble Pi
“A fascinating and deeply surprising journey into the hilarious and sometimes tragic realm of mathematical error. Brilliant.” —Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and Messy
“[Matt Parker] shows off math at its most playful and multifarious.” —Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong
“Matt Parker is some sort of unholy fusion of prankster, wizard, and brilliant nerd—math is rarely this clever, funny, and ever so slightly naughty.” —Adam Rutherford, author of Creation
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