The Math of Life and Death

Kit Yates

Mathematical patterns influence every aspect of our lives, from our birthdays to birth rates to how we interpret the passage of time. In contrast, for those of us who left mathematics behind in high school, the numbers and figures thrown our way as we go about our daily lives might occasionally leave us scratching our brains and feeling as like we’re walking through a mathematical minefield. Kit Yates, a mathematician, reveals hidden principles that can assist us in understanding and navigating the chaotic and often opaque surfaces of our world in this eye-opening and incredibly accessible book.

A fascinating journey through everyday events and large-scale applications of mathematical principles, such as exponential growth and decay, optimization, statistics and probability, and number systems, is provided by Yates in The Math of Life and Death. Along the way, he shows the mathematical underpinnings of disputes such as those surrounding DNA testing, medical screening results, and historical events such as the Chernobyl accident and the Amanda Knox case. By the end of the book, readers will have gained a more enlightened perspective on current events and the law, medicine, and history. They will also be better prepared to make personal decisions and solve problems with mathematics in mind, whether it’s choosing the shortest checkout line at the grocery store or halting the spread of a deadly disease.