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Everyday Calculus

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Table of Contents

Preface ix Calculus Topics Discussed by Chapter xi CHAPTER 1 Wake Up and Smell the Functions 1 What's Trig Got to Do with Your Morning? 2 How a Rational Function Defeated Thomas Edison, and Why Induction Powers the World 5 The Logarithms Hidden in the Air 10 The Frequency of Trig Functions 14 Galileo's Parabolic Thinking 17 CHAPTER 2 Breakfast at Newton's 21 Introducing Calculus, the CNBC Way 21 Coffee Has Its Limits 25 A Multivitamin a Day Keeps the Doctor Away 30 Derivatives Are about Change 34 CHAPTER 3 Driven by Derivatives 35 Why Do We Survive Rainy Days? 36 Politics in Derivatives, or Derivatives in Politics? 39 What the Unemployment Rate Teaches Us about the Curvature of Graphs 41 America's Ballooning Population 44 Feeling Derivatives 46 The Calculus of Time Travel 47 CHAPTER 4 Connected by Calculus 51 E-Mails, Texts, Tweets, Ah! 51 The Calculus of Colds 53 What Does Sustainability Have to Do with Catching a Cold? 56 What Does Your Retirement Income Have to Do with Traffic? 58 The Calculus of the Sweet Tooth 61 CHAPTER 5 Take a Derivative and You'll Feel Better 65 I "Heart" Differentials 65 How Life (and Nature) Uses Calculus 67 The Costly Downside of Calculus 73 The Optimal Drive Back Home 75 Catching Speeders Efficiently with Calculus 77 CHAPTER 6 Adding Things Up, the Calculus Way 81 The Little Engine That Could ... Integrate 82 The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus 90 Using Integrals to Estimate Wait Times 93 CHAPTER 7 Derivatives Integrals: The Dream Team 97 Integration at Work-Tandoori Chicken 98 Finding the Best Seat in the House 101 Keeping the T Running with Calculus 104 Look Up to Look Back in Time 108 The Ultimate Fate of the Universe 109 The Age of the Universe 113 Epilogue 116 Appendix A Functions and Graphs 119 Appendices 1-7 125 Notes 147 Index 149

About the Author

Oscar E. Fernandez is assistant professor of mathematics at Wellesley College. He is the author of The Calculus of Happiness (Princeton).


American Association for the Advancement of Science's Books for General Audiences and Young Adults One of American Association for the Advancement of Science's Books for General Audiences and Young Adults 2014 "Fernandez's witty, delightful approach makes for a winning introduction to the wonderland of math behind the scenes of everyday life."--Publishers Weekly "Written in a bright conversational tone, [Everyday Calculus] wonderfully integrates calculus into everyday life."--Guardian "Fernandez is a delightfully quirky writer and his bookEveryday Calculusis lighthearted and compelling."--New York Journal of Books "The author earnestly and excitedly seeks to make the principles of calculus near and natural, without the intimidation of a five-pound textbook dense with equations... Fernandez invites the reader along on this work day and telegraphs an enthusiasm for seeing calculus, with hints of differential equations, presented to him. This excitement will communicate itself to the math enthusiast becoming acquainted with calculus through the author's style, which is both lively and confident."--Tom Schulte, MAA Reviews "Written in a bright conversational tone, this book wonderfully integrates calculus into everyday life."--GrrrlScientist "[T]he book is perfect for a reader who really wants to know what mathematics are governing our lives and who wants to learn and understand or polish up his rusty knowledge of these mathematics."--A. Bultheel, European Mathematical Society "A delightful read. [Everyday Calculus] will make you laugh and capture your imagination... [A] triumph in the pursuit of the lofty goal of comprehending the world."--San Francisco Book Review "Fernandez presents a broad array of ordinary events like REM sleep, drinking coffee, commuting to work, setting aside money for retirement, catching a cold, enjoying tandoori chicken, and watching a movie... [T]hen ties each aspect to pertinent mathematics... As the subtitle of the book suggests, the thrust is more one of 'discovering the hidden math all around us' rather than showing 'how mathematics is used,' which provides an honest and very pleasurable journey."--Choice "The book offers in clear and concise fashion much of the material found in a traditional calculus textbook, but presents it beginning with a real world observation and then developing the mathematics needed to understand the observation."--AAAS "A very captivating read, and certainly contains something for everyone... [E]asy to drop into for individual chapters, or to read when you have a couple hours spare. [Everyday Calculus] will certainly open the eyes of any reader who wishes to appreciate the mathematics and calculus which surrounds us."--Mathematics Today

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