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Street Fighting Mathematics

Author: Sanjoy Mahajan
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262265591
Size: 50.48 MB
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In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works -- don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge -- from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool -- the general principle -- from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems.Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

Street Fighting Mathematics

Author: Sanjoy Mahajan
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262514293
Size: 65.86 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation. In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works--don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation. In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge--from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool--the general principle--from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems. Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

The Art Of Insight In Science And Engineering

Author: Sanjoy Mahajan
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262526549
Size: 12.77 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this book, Sanjoy Mahajan shows us that the way to master complexity is through insight rather than precision. Precision can overwhelm us with information, whereas insight connects seemingly disparate pieces of information into a simple picture. Unlike computers, humans depend on insight. Based on the author's fifteen years of teaching at MIT, Cambridge University, and Olin College, The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering shows us how to build insight and find understanding, giving readers tools to help them solve any problem in science and engineering.To master complexity, we can organize it or discard it. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering first teaches the tools for organizing complexity, then distinguishes the two paths for discarding complexity: with and without loss of information. Questions and problems throughout the text help readers master and apply these groups of tools. Armed with this three-part toolchest, and without complicated mathematics, readers can estimate the flight range of birds and planes and the strength of chemical bonds, understand the physics of pianos and xylophones, and explain why skies are blue and sunsets are red.The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

How Many Licks

Author: Aaron Santos
Publisher: Running Press Adult
ISBN: 0762439181
Size: 63.21 MB
Format: PDF
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How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How many people are having sex at this moment? How long would it take a monkey on a typewriter to produce the plays of Shakespeare? For all those questions that keep you up at night, here's the way to answer them. And the beauty of it is that it's all approximate! Using Enrico Fermi's theory of approximation, Santos brings the world of numbers into perspective. For puzzle junkies and trivia fanatics, these 70 word puzzles will show the reader how to take a bit of information, add what they already know, and extrapolate an answer. Santos has done the impossible: make math and the multiple possibilities of numbers fun and informative. Can you really cry a river? Is it possible to dig your way out of jail with just a teaspoon and before your life sentence is up? Taking an academic subject and using it as the prism to view everyday off-the-wall questions as math problems to be solved is a natural step for the lovers of sudoku, cryptograms, word puzzles, and other thought-provoking games.

Guesstimation 2 0

Author: Lawrence Weinstein
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069115080X
Size: 38.68 MB
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Guesstimation 2.0 reveals the simple and effective techniques needed to estimate virtually anything--quickly--and illustrates them using an eclectic array of problems. A stimulating follow-up to Guesstimation, this is the must-have book for anyone preparing for a job interview in technology or finance, where more and more leading businesses test applicants using estimation questions just like these. The ability to guesstimate on your feet is an essential skill to have in today's world, whether you're trying to distinguish between a billion-dollar subsidy and a trillion-dollar stimulus, a megawatt wind turbine and a gigawatt nuclear plant, or parts-per-million and parts-per-billion contaminants. Lawrence Weinstein begins with a concise tutorial on how to solve these kinds of order of magnitude problems, and then invites readers to have a go themselves. The book features dozens of problems along with helpful hints and easy-to-understand solutions. It also includes appendixes containing useful formulas and more. Guesstimation 2.0 shows how to estimate everything from how closely you can orbit a neutron star without being pulled apart by gravity, to the fuel used to transport your food from the farm to the store, to the total length of all toilet paper used in the United States. It also enables readers to answer, once and for all, the most asked environmental question of our day: paper or plastic?

Back Of The Envelope Physics

Author: Clifford Swartz
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801881641
Size: 35.86 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Covering such subjects as astronomy, magnetism, optics, sound, heat, mechanics, waves, and electricity, the book provides a rich source of material for teachers and anyone interested in the physics of everyday life.

Collective Electrodynamics

Author: Carver Mead
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262632607
Size: 37.10 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Carver Mead offers a radically new approach to the standard problems of electromagnetic theory.

Stochastic Dynamics Of Complex Systems

Author: Paolo Sibani
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN: 1848169957
Size: 27.20 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Dynamical evolution over long time scales is a prominent feature of all the systems we intuitively think of as complex — for example, ecosystems, the brain or the economy. In physics, the term ageing is used for this type of slow change, occurring over time scales much longer than the patience, or indeed the lifetime, of the observer. The main focus of this book is on the stochastic processes which cause ageing, and the surprising fact that the ageing dynamics of systems which are very different at the microscopic level can be treated in similar ways. The first part of this book provides the necessary mathematical and computational tools and the second part describes the intuition needed to deal with these systems. Some of the first few chapters have been covered in several other books, but the emphasis and selection of the topics reflect both the authors' interests and the overall theme of the book. The second part contains an introduction to the scientific literature and deals in some detail with the description of complex phenomena of a physical and biological nature, for example, disordered magnetic materials, superconductors and glasses, models of co-evolution in ecosystems and even of ant behaviour. These heterogeneous topics are all dealt with in detail using similar analytical techniques. This book emphasizes the unity of complex dynamics and provides the tools needed to treat a large number of complex systems of current interest. The ideas and the approach to complex dynamics it presents have not appeared in book form until now.

Chaotic Dynamics

Author: Gregory L. Baker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521476850
Size: 74.39 MB
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New edition of a very successful undergraduate text on chaos.

Consider A Cylindrical Cow

Author: John Harte
Publisher: University Science Books
ISBN: 9781891389177
Size: 22.61 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Following in the tradition of Consider a Spherical Cow, the Cylindrical Cow will help students achieve a whole new level of environmental modeling and problem solving. Featuring a new core set of 25 fully worked-out problems, this book uses real problems in environmental science rather than relying on the more traditional "cookbook" problems found in textbooks. It is organized according to five thematic sections on probability, optimization, scaling, differential equations, and stability and feedback. Each section begins with a general treatment of the relevant mathematical concepts, and concludes with a range of homework exercises to help students sharpen their modeling skills. Like its predecessor, this book will empower students with the mathematical skills needed to cut through the complexity of real-world problems.