Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

Alain Goriely

Mathematics is often considered a daunting subject, filled with complex equations and formulae. But what if you could learn about the practical application of mathematics in a fun and accessible way? This is precisely what Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction offers. Written by mathematician and theoretical physicist, Alain Goriely, this book provides readers with a glimpse into the fascinating world of applied mathematics.

The book, part of the Oxford University Press’ Very Short Introduction series, is designed for anyone with a basic understanding of calculus and physics. However, what sets it apart is its engaging approach to presenting complex topics. Goriely shares his personal journey of initially dismissing applied mathematics but later realizing its beauty and importance. Enthusiastically, he attempts to define the subject through three main components: modeling, theory, and methods, which are discussed in detail in the book.

Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction is divided into nine chapters, each focusing on different examples and tools used in applied mathematics, such as dimensional analysis and differential equations. Readers will learn about the role of mathematics in fields like mechanics, biology, and finance. The book also touches upon modern issues in applied mathematics, including data analysis and the study of networks.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction is the author’s ability to make abstract concepts tangible. Take, for example, modeling. Goriely explains how this process allows scientists to create simplified representations of complex systems, making them easier to understand. He goes into detail on how models are created, tested, and refined to ensure their accuracy. The chapter on differential equations is equally riveting, demonstrating how this mathematical tool is integral to understanding everything from the spread of disease to the optimal angle for a ski jump.

What makes Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction so special is its ability to engage readers regardless of their mathematical background. Even those who may have found calculus or physics intimidating in school will find the book approachable and even enjoyable. Goriely’s writing style is engaging and he uses real-world examples to illustrate challenging concepts, helping readers to understand and appreciate the beauty of applied mathematics.

In conclusion, Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction is a must-read for anyone interested in mathematics and its practical applications. This book is not only informative but also engaging, providing readers with a glimpse into the exciting world of applied mathematics. Despite being part of a series of short books, this one delves deep into the topic, providing an overview that is both accessible and enjoyable. Whether you are a student, researcher, or just someone looking to learn something new, Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction is definitely worth a read.