How Not to Be Wrong
Petra B. Taylor, Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

How much time do you typically give yourself to get to the airport? If you are like me and have never missed a flight, then, according to Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, you may be spending way too much time at the airport. 

Ellenberg uncovers profound mathematical ideas in a myriad of real-life scenarios (including basketball, the lottery, elections, obesity, brain cancer, hyperbolic geometry, 19th century French criminology, and “torturing the data until it confesses," to name but a few). With his purposefully non-technical expository tone and entertaining style, Ellenberg shows that mathematical thinking can be a pleasurable activity. He masterfully shows that mathematics is not a boring set of rules to be memorized but rather "an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.”

I have to run: my flight is boarding—after three hours in an uncomfortable seat at the gate.