Thousands of years ago the inhabitants of Mesopotamia became the first to use numbers. Since then, mathematics has been unstoppable. It's behind almost everything, from search-engines to cruise-control, from coffee-makers to timetables. But now that we hardly ever need to do arithmetic, how relevant is mathematics to everyday life?
Pluses and Minuses demonstrates the role mathematics plays in human endeavour. It answers questions such as: What is life without numbers? Is the usefulness of mathematics mere chance? How can we get a grip on uncertainty? Stefan Buijsman's richly entertaining guide makes connections between philosophy, psychology and history, while explaining the wonderful world of mathematics for absolutely everyone.
Born in 1995, Stefan gained a master's degree in philosophy in Leiden at the age of eighteen, after which he moved from Sweden to work on a PhD. Within eighteen months (instead of the usual four years) he gained his doctorate, making him one of the youngest ever PhDs. He is currently studying the philosophy of mathematics as a post-doctoral researcher. Along with Govrien Oldenburger he is the author of a children's book
The Kingdom of Sums (2018).
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