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An equation for every occasion - John M. Henshaw

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An equation for every occasion - fifty-two formulas and why they matter
John M. Henshaw
Paperback / softback
Johns Hopkins University Press
UK Publication Date

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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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 Does Measurement Measure Up? How Numbers Reveal and Conceal the Truth and A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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.

Mathematical Reviews

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

London Mathematical Society Newsletter

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

Mathematical Association of America

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.

Donovan's Literary Services

Recommended. All readers.


Johns Hopkins paperback edition
Keyword Index
Mathematical analysis - Popular works.|Mathematical models - Social aspects - Popular works.|Equations - Popular works.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
x, 187

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