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An Equation for Every Occasion

Fifty-Two Formulas and Why They Matter

John M. Henshaw

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A little math, a bit of history, and a dose of storytelling combine to reveal the importance of equations in everyday life.

With this fun romp through the world of equations we encounter in our everyday lives, you’ll find yourself flipping through the stories of fifty-two formulas faster than a deck of cards. John M. Henshaw’s intriguing true accounts, each inspired by a different mathematical equation, are both succinct and easy to read. His tales come from the spheres of sports, business, history, the arts, science, and technology. Anecdotes about famous equations, like E=mc2, appear…

A little math, a bit of history, and a dose of storytelling combine to reveal the importance of equations in everyday life.

With this fun romp through the world of equations we encounter in our everyday lives, you’ll find yourself flipping through the stories of fifty-two formulas faster than a deck of cards. John M. Henshaw’s intriguing true accounts, each inspired by a different mathematical equation, are both succinct and easy to read. His tales come from the spheres of sports, business, history, the arts, science, and technology. Anecdotes about famous equations, like E=mc2, appear alongside tales of not-so-famous—but equally fascinating—equations, such as the one used to determine the SPF number for sunscreen.

Drawn from the breadth of human endeavor, Henshaw's stories demonstrate the power and utility of math. He entertains us by exploring the ways that equations can be used to explain, among other things, Ponzi schemes, the placebo effect, "dog years," IQ, the wave mechanics of tsunamis, the troubled modern beekeeping industry, and the Challenger disaster. Smartly conceived and fast paced, his book offers something for anyone curious about math and its impacts.

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An Equation for Every Occasion

John M. Henshaw

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Reviews

Reviews

The wide ranging essays touch on history, art, architecture, biology, astrophysics, geology, economics, engineering, and many aspects of everyday life. They are supplemented with helpful graphics and written in a lively and clear style appropriate for non-specialist readers, including high school students.

An intriguing, thought provoking and humorous book... Highly entertaining treatises for nature lovers as well as science, mathematics and art enthusiasts.

Henshaw's stories about each formula are interesting, humorous, and oftentimes surprising. The range of formulas in [An Equation for Every Occasion] is appealing, no matter where one's interests lie... This book is a must for teachers who teach formulas. This book provides both interesting stories and historial context to pass on to students

From the links between music and math and the importance of the concept of friction to either the success or failure of athletes to estimating the size of a crowd by understanding principles of density, these applications are not only lively discussions of daily living, but require no prior math knowledge from their readers, making An Equation for Every Occasion a recommended pick for lay audiences interested in math's intersections with real-world concerns.

Recommended. All readers.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
200
ISBN
9781421419831
Illustration Description
1 halftone, 15 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
1. As the Earth Draws the Apple
2. And All the Children Are Above Average
3. The Lady with the Mystic Smile
4. The Heart Has Its Reasons
5. AC/DC
6. The Doppler Effect
7. Do I Look Fat in These Jeans

Preface
1. As the Earth Draws the Apple
2. And All the Children Are Above Average
3. The Lady with the Mystic Smile
4. The Heart Has Its Reasons
5. AC/DC
6. The Doppler Effect
7. Do I Look Fat in These Jeans?
8. Zeros and Ones
9. Tsunami
10. When the Chips Are Down
11. A Stretch of the Imagination
12. Woodstock Nation
13. What Is (Pi)?
14. No Sweat
15. Road Range
16. The Bends
17. It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity
18. The World's Most Beautiful Equation
19. Breaking the Law
20. The Mars Curse
21. Eureka!
22. A Penny Saved...
23. If I Only Had a Brain
24. Because It Was There
25. Four Eyes
26. Bee Sting
27. Here Comes the Sun
28. A Leg to Stand On
29. Love Is a Roller Coaster
30. Loss Factor
31. A Slippery Slope
32. Transformers
33. A House of Cards
34. Let There Be Light
35. Smarty Pants
36. As Old as the Hills
37. Can You Hear Me Now?
38. Decay Heat
39. Zero, One, Infinity
40. Terminal Velocity
41. Water, Water, Everywhere
42. Dog Days
43. Body Heat
44. Red Hot
45. A Bolt from the Blue
46. Like Oil and Water
47. Fish Story
48. Making Waves
49. A Drop in the Bucket
50. Fracking Unbelievable
51. Take Two Aspirins and Call Me in the Morning
52. The World's Most Famous Equation
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

John M. Henshaw

John M. Henshaw is the department chair and Harry H. Rogers Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tulsa. He is the author of An Equation for Every Occasion: Fifty-Two Formulas and Why They Matter and A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World.